One “rule” that I have developed over the years of painting is that “there is always a solution” and that “not having an idea” should never be a reason to not begin working. I remember establishing this rule during my 20’s where I would deliberately hold off on having an idea of what I was going to paint before I started and I would literally touch my brush to the pristine white canvas with no idea of what I would be creating/painting. In fact, I did have an idea for these paintings. The idea was…To not have an idea! I was essentially challenging this concept of “creative block” by proving to myself that I could begin creating art without needing an idea and then ultimately could never use the excuse “But I don’t know what to paint” to prevent me from Creating.
Over the years I have modified this approach, however, the foundation this rule has supported me greatly during the painting process where I will often dramatically change images or paintings I am working on and take them in completely new directions. With this painting “Balance in Nature” I simply began with the simple idea of painting one of my sketchbook drawings and then see what happens. I had put the painting aside for a couple months and then one day after leaning one of my plein air paintings against the painting of the drawing I had done, I thought, “hummm, that plein air piece would actually make a nice background” and so I merged the 2. During that merging process, I also changed the position of hte figure and repainted many aspects of it until I was satisfied.