...a few examples of my creative process for custom paintings…
I always meet/skype/talk with individuals interested in a custom painting, making notes of the feelings and intentions that he/she would like to emanate from the work as well as the colors. These words are written down on the canvas, as an underpainting, eventually to be covered up. The intention is there, though.
After doing art shows for a few years I found it really quite fascinating that often people would tell me about the painting they were looking at, with no prior knowledge of whatever intention I remembered writing on the canvas, and they would use the very words I had used! This was unknown to them, as the words/intentions are not evident. This doesn't always happen, but it has happened so often that I have taken notice.
The Birch Winter Magic painting was custom made to capture the landscape feeling of the area I used to live in and the low river valley, mixed with shrubs and pines and lots of open meadows that led to the river. Words and intentions were written into the painting on the first layer. This customer wanted to capture the magic and beauty of Wisconsin winter.
Another technique I use very often is evident in the "Crane Spirit" mixed media painting of a Whooping Crane. For this painting, I had absolutely no idea I was going to paint a Whooping Crane. None. Before I began to paint, I set up my watercolor paper and all my supplies in front of me, then blindfolded myself so I couldn't see what colors, etc I was choosing, and just very intuitively started making marks and painting. Of course, this can be quite a surprise and very messy. When I was finished, I did what became known as my "under painting". I sat with this for several days, seeing what wanted to emerge. And then, like a light bulb went on (!), all at once I could see a Whooping Crane. So I then painted the image you see here from the space around it.
This lovely couple wanted me to capture the a spirit of the Driftless area here in Wisconsin- not a particular spot but the feeling. I incorporated words and phrases important to them at this time in their life in the underlayers, making the intentions present and meaningful. What an honor to do this for them!