“A Tale of the Forked River” still laying in the basic elements
I don’t make my paintings from tracings, projections, or copying. Nor do I produce practice preparatory drawings. I work it all out on the canvas.
Once the initial composition is drawn I remain committed to the original layout. Part of my intuitive painting process is to use that first take on the image as the foundation to build on, to bring out and make more explicit the rhythms and structure that were only loosely suggested at first.
Painting is a constant process of adjustment. I work all over the surface of painting, trying to nudge the entire image to a certain level of resolution. Then it begins again, working all over, trying to advance whole image to greater amounts of focus. I start with the background and work forward, putting objects in front of other objects in the illusionary space I’m creating.
I always struggle with getting into too much detail too soon on certain intriguing passages. It can be problematic if one part gets too resolved ahead of the rest of the painting. As the rest of the painting gets worked, that impatient piece of it will change based on what’s surrounding it, and usually not for the better. A balanced, gradual approach works best.
This painting is still weeks away from completion.