When you look at a painting, you see a fixed, unchanging image. Hidden within the image is the story of transformation and revelation. Every painting starts with a blank canvas. The artist, even a process painting artist, may be begin with an inspiration. It may be an image (I'm want to paint a tree, with gold leaves, beneath a purple sun) or a concept (I want to paint the sorrow I am feeling about my mother's death last year).Fox's Journey (stage 2)
But the goal in process painting is pay attention to what is happening as the painting develops, to hold those initial inspirations lightly and allow them to change and evolve over time. The painting purple sun is surrounded by silver rain. The gray and black shadows become the setting for a shiny heart. The bird finds itself grasped by giant claws. But even this is just one part of the process. As the painting continues, even new elements appear and things shift once again. The silver rains pours into a green hole. the heart acquires wings, the claws belong to a mother bird. And on it goes until eventually the painting reaches a point of equilibrium. Its story feels complete and it is done, finally becoming the fixed image seen by others. Yet the artist knows that picture embodies the act of painting and holds within it the story of its unfolding.