When I start a new painting or series of paintings, keeping an open mind and being spontaneous are key. I try not to think about what I’m going to create beforehand because anything I plan goes out the window once I start. One color will call for another color and then another one that I didn’t expect. On different days, different colors appeal to me or something accidental and interesting happens when I run a scraper across the surface.
I always have a few works going at once. Four is a good number. When something looks good on one, I’ll add it to them all. I might like a color and lay it thickly on one surface then press that surface against the others to share it. That way the paintings I work on together look like they know each other.
Eventually each painting surface is covered and then I repaint them differently. I need to put two or more layers of paint (or paint and collage) on each before I’m satisfied. Those first layers are the wild part of my process. Then I decide what geometric pattern to paint on top.
The geometric shapes take the most time because I like crisp edges and I often change my mind about the colors and/or the shapes. I tape and retape. I use a lot of tape. A lot.
Once all the colors and shapes please me, I use a sander to remove some of the top layers. This can be a little scary, but the random glimpses of the undercoats add subtle interest.
Sometimes I get carried away with the sander and need to do some repainting. But that also builds character. I try to be patient. Each painting can work out eventually. It’s a lot like solving a puzzle — there’s the excitement of starting something new, a lot of concentration, plenty of frustration, and finally joy.