Art is like baking a cake!

My paintings are created a bit like baking a cake.  The early steps can be uninspiring, even to myself.  There is no great joy in looking at cake batter, though it tastes far better than it looks.  That cannot be said about my early paint layers.  It is not uncommon for me to pass through a stage of mortification, convinced that there is no returning from the ‘quagmire of wrongness’ that I inadvertently created.  One day I hope I trust this first stage more!  At this stage of a painting, I most often have no idea what direction it will head in. Case in point:

Starting a painting

From a state of despair, I felt that I had nothing to lose, and began adding various arches throughout the painting (see below), knowing that I can always add another layer of paint.  During this process, I kept the paper somewhat damp so that some colours would run and blend together.  It’s always intriguing when they do that! Still, the painting does not look like much, but some interesting areas and colours show promise as sweet areas to peek through to the next layer.  At least a little structure is emerging, much like the icing between the layers of a multi-layered cake.  Not exciting yet, but taking some form.

Adding arches to painting

Following this step, a lot happened and I became so engrossed that I forgot to take a few process photos.  At first, some of these arches had to go, and the intensity of some colours needed to be toned down.  So some softer colours like Golden Naples Yellow, Light Phthalo Green and Blue emerged.  I’ll compare that to the foundation icing on the cake.  Then an area at the bottom right and at the far left received some stenciling.  This was all I needed to have a vision of where this painting wanted to go. 

So the proverbial icing gun came out!  Rainbows emerged and a barn owl flew in, thinking a rainbow would make a great perch.  Some of the owl’s favourite things developed as botanicals.  He had a full belly, so no mice needed in this painting!  The butterfly was developed from the background by painting what is called some ‘negative space’ around it to give its shape. As is typical for my paintings, there are some simplistic line drawings combined with a few details that are more involved.  The final outcome is a painting that has some innocence, some sophistication and a lot of cheerful colour and spunky motifs that hopefully bring a smile to your face. 

barn Owl

BE IN YOUR HAPPY PLACE Acrylic inks, paints, markers and collage on 18 x 24” watercolour paper.

2 comments to Art is like baking a cake!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>