Abstract Painting Process: Musings

Updated: Jan 30

Today I'm officially sharing my first series of the New Year! On Friday, I posted six new abstract paintings to my shop. These new pieces are part of the "Musings" series. I'm really excited about how these turned out, and I want to share the process behind how I made them.


Inspiration

My paintings usually start with an itch to use a particular color, and I let whatever is inspiring me at the moment take the lead. For this series, my two biggest sources of color inspiration were Cadmium Light and Light Blue Permanent. Their vibrancy and punch really spoke to me, and I wanted them to have a moment to shine in my work.


Process

After selecting my main colors, I moved forward with planning the composition. I try to create a sense of rhythm and balance within my pieces by determining where the highest contrast areas will be first. In the painting below, you can see this being worked out with the black and ultramarine.

Once those larger areas are puzzled out, I start adding in shapes and patterns. This is when I start to feel like I'm composing a song. Every mark is a note, every repeating section is a melody. I then go in with secondary marks, like the smaller bunches of lines, to formulate a harmony. When I feel like I've sorted out the main components of the piece, I go in and build texture.


And, for this series, a big element I wanted to experiment with was texture. I love my other paintings, but I really wanted to push my myself and bring out a more sculptural feel with these new pieces. I accomplished this through the use of Golden's Light Molding Paste and Glass Bead Gel. I hadn't ever worked with additives before, and now I can't imagine ever going back.


I used the Light Molding Paste to create peaks and valleys within the more textured areas, as well as play with transparency. You can see that in this area here. I have several geometric shapes laid down in orange underneath the molding paste, which creates this beautiful layering affect with the periwinkle shapes on top.

I utilized the Glass Bead Gel in a similar way so that both its texture and transparency could be taken advantage of. Below is a wonderful example of how the rough, bumpy texture can also create a transparent effect. After laying down a section of the gel, I like to dry brush over the area, allowing the previous layer to peek through.

After I laid out the textured sections, I went back with my Inktense Pencil and Caran D'ache Neocolor II Crayons to further emphasize certain areas with marks and geometric shapes. This brings certain elements forward while allowing others to be pushed to the background, thus creating a better sense of hierarchy within my work. You can see that in the bright orange rectangles in this section.

I then went back and forth within each piece, tweaking the elements above until I felt they were well-balanced. Each painting is unique, and I take time to hone and polish that singularity.


Musings

This new series is titled, "Musings", as it's a direct result of me contemplating new ideas and reflecting on past thoughts. I keep experimentation as a strong focus within my artistic practice, and I'm always looking to push my work through thoughtful pondering and curiosity in the studio. These paintings are a perfect example of that. Below are a few of my favorite pieces from this series.

"Petunias"; 6"x8"

"Drifting"; 9"x12"

"Infatuation"; 16"x20"


Artist Statement

"Musings" is a series inspired by color and experimentation. This series was a purposeful and deliberate experience in pushing me to experiment with my work. Texture was the driving factor for each of these paintings, and I celebrate it here through different additives, marks, and intentional layering. As I created these paintings, I mused and contemplated new possibilities. I was constantly thinking of what could be if I just tried a new mark. While some marks and thoughts made reappearances from my last series, I pushed them all just a little further to create a new painting and viewing experience. "Musings" stands as a reminder of what happens when I follow the "what ifs" in my work.

 

I'm so excited to finally share these paintings with you, and I hope you enjoyed taking a glimpse into my painting process!


If you want to collect any of the paintings from "Musings", head over to my shop. These are all posted and available for you to bring home.


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Thanks for reading and happy creating!