Because I live in such a beautiful country, inspiration... for me, abounds. If I pass a tree with an interesting bark pattern,
or notice the way the light is striking something;
if I'm hiking up in the mountains and can see forever, or ....
even just driving ...
i begin the process of painting.
In my mind, I go over what colours I will choose, how I will mix them... what else I will add... I call this part of the process "painting in my mind". Once I get back to my studio... I begin to sketch "thumbnails". These are small sketches that lead to the larger painting. They help you to see what works and what doesn't.... what is pleasing to the eye.
Thumbnails are an important part of my process.
Most of the time, i have several different ideas floating around in my mind, but this latest painting... "Where We Once Stood" ... took a while to arrive, so I thought I'd show my thought process for this particular painting, with my sketches/thumbnails.
Page 1: The idea of life and death, old and new was part of my planning for this painting. It was where I started...
There are a lot of old trees and dead trees in my neck of the woods, and when i see them... they seem to have an energy... or a history that I'm curious about.
Page 2: I started thinking about the bark... yes, I know it is a bit of an obsession for me, probably because I love lines so much.
I sketch with pen/ink, pretty much never with pencil and there is something quite satisfying to me, about putting those dark lines on paper.
Page 3: More of the same.... trying to figure out orientation of the canvas, but still not satisfied with the bark issue. I know that I had an image of the bark in my mind here, but not yet able to pull it out onto the sketchbook pages.
Got a bit sidetracked by some birdhouses.
Page 4: Focused more on those bark patterns... got a bit distracted by a flower and some swirls. :)
Page 5: Finally came up with the bark and composition I wanted. I don't know where the rabbit/dog/scorpion came from... but I guess it's all part of the process... who knows maybe he will show up in a painting one day.
So you can see... there is a lot more to painting, at least for me, than just sitting down and painting. Most times the painting you see is the result of hours of thinking, sketching, and dreaming, and planning.