Tuesday, July 21, 2009


The process of art making is an interesting one and probably there are as many ways to proceed as there are artists. Lately, I've been taking a digital photo of work in progress at the end of each studio day. This is a useful tool for me. When I get home, I download the photo and print it. Looking at it in 8 1/2" x 11" format, I find it easier to see where to go the next day. I can draw on the print, collage over parts of it, black out sections, change the values and hues and come up with a plan for continued work. At a given time, I'm often working on several paintings simultaneously and these photographic "studies" help organize what for me can be a somewhat chaotic process.

Below are three of the photos I used in creating Veil #4....

Stage One -- under painting

In the photo above, the movement I wanted to communicate from the Hubble photos of the Veil Nebula has been translated onto the gessoed paper with a roller. Texture has been added with modeling paste and a basic pattern of dark and light values has been established....

Stage Two -- intermediate stage

At stage two, the color palette has been established, hard edges have been masked off and added and some of the texture has been submerged by acrylic paint. When I look at this photo at home, I can see that the painting needs some simplification. It is too busy and scattered and my intended sense of movement has been obscured....

Stage Three -- finished Veil #4

In the finished painting, background blues ground the composition and collaged paper and gold paint add a sense of transparency to the painting, evoking a sense of the mystery and chaos of the Veil Nebula. It has come a long ways from the first stage. Many changes have been made in the course of work. This journey is complete.


  1. Kathy,

    this is really great! i think it's an excellent idea and i love the way you have shown how the painting progressed! well done!

  2. I was fascinated by your process. Thanks for sharing!