I’m often asked, “How do you start?” The first thing I do after a brief walk to my Studio is prepare the place to be productive. Anything that does not serve me for the day’s painting assignments is put away out of sight. I prefer an organized studio when I create. The painting tables are covered with polyethylene and become my painting palettes. Next, Sirius Radio or Pandora sets the music atmosphere. Music helps me focus on the task at hand.
Always with me is my sketchbook with notes and painting assignments. Some mornings I play my electric drum set in the corner of the studio. It’s my “stretching exercise.” After an hour, I’m ready to paint. It’s 8:30am… like a real job!
Before painting, I journal in my sketchbook. I journal my dreams and thoughts to get them out of my head. My sketchbook is my toolbox of ideas. This becomes my “job description” and includes my daily four Cs. What’s the CONCEPT? The big idea. What’s the COLOR combination? Following my color wheel, I squeeze 4 tubes of predetermined colors, plus black and white right on the table. What’s the COMPOSITION? I have twelve to choose from. And the last C is a no-brainer - COMMITMENT to the concept. I’m a painter and I’m committed to the task at hand.
I start with small 6x9 inch warmup paint sketching consisting of a themed series. It’s my goofing around time - my play-in-the-sandbox -time. After an hour or so, it’s time to get into my purpose of the day - the larger body of work I’ve been painting for awhile, such as an exhibit series, my museum show or the Sausalito Art Festival. Once I start painting, I am all about production and flow, which lasts all day, uninterrupted. I paint without stopping this flow of “creative automatism.”
When I am invited to teach my “Loosen Up” painting workshops this is exactly how we begin everyday!