What has been a seminal experience for you artistically?
I love that question. So I was struggling with the medium of watercolours (when I started art again), - the lack of control. I couldn’t get skin tones down, I was having a hard time with colour theory, and in the end, I realised that I was going to have to redirect my whole style.
When my son Fin was little, I got him doing some painting. It lead to an epiphany: I had to start over, I have to start playing with the materials again and being more exploratory. I looked at his art, copied his use of colour, and it lead to free-flow, dripping effects. I then superimposed portraits over top of the painting, using pen and ink.
I let go of the need to have the finished picture visualised in my head, as it would be represented on the page. Instead I let it become what it would become. Seeing what my son was making, completely changed my approach to art - it made me 100,000 times better!
How do you work best?
Probably in directed periods of time. I’ll spend a lot of time in the thinking process, such as the Canadian Wilds for example. About the animals, and what they mean to me, what do they represent? I do a lot of art that represents a specific time - I’m very present in this moment, what is going on for me, emotionally, what things are representing me right now, what am I trying to express? Also, if I have time away from my son, I like to spend plenty of time immersed in a project! So I’ll end up getting a whole piece done in one day.
I also love it when I’m motivated from an experience, such as one piece I did as a gift for an instructor, for the end of class. This piece was a perfect example of being present in this moment.