"Meditation on Joy"
9x12", oil on canvas mounted on hardboard
The Hildt Gallery, Chicago
I thought I'd try a completely different approach with this little floral abstract painting. Instead of setting up a floral arrangement to paint from, I thought I'd let the painting "create itself" this time.
I started the painting with a little bit of paint and a whole lot of Gamsol (a paint solvent) to make my oil paint behave similarly to watercolor paint. I dropped the different colors on the canvas and let them run together and spill right off the bottom. All the while, I was observing what parts of the painting were speaking to me. I wanted to develop the areas I liked with just enough detail without ruining the spontaneity of the abstract underneath.
Little by little, I snuck up on the painting, adding small dashes of color wherever I wanted to. This was a pretty long, drawn out process. After every few brush strokes, I stepped back about six feet and asked myself what I should do next. To me, the process of abstract painting is much more intensive and tiring than painting from a reference. In abstract painting, it's just you and the painting, without any outside guidance from reality.
After this painting is mounted and framed, it's off to the Hildt Gallery.