Part of the process

I am currently working, in my head, on a project.  It has taken me a long time to realize that part of the painting process, for me at least, is in my head.  The process goes something like this:

  1. Get an idea–usually it is a request from someone or an idea that is inspired by something or someone.
  2. Push the idea to the back of my mind since I am busy with something else.
  3. Idea keeps coming forward, eating at my brain.
  4. Chew on idea, consider beginning but decide to keep working on it before I start.
  5. Consider idea some more, start thinking about possible execution.
  6. Come up with multiple ways idea may present itself.
  7. Chew on it some more.
  8. Begin to consider paper size and possible colors for idea.
  9. Change mind multiple times.
  10. Get sudden bee in bonnet to just do it already.  Push all other projects out of the way while work on new pet project.

Am I the only one who works this way?  I am surprised to realize that despite it only taking me an hour or so to execute a painting it has taken me weeks of brain work to get it right–and the paintings I have put the most thought into are the ones that turn out the best.  Some of my favorites–like the shoe painting took years in the making even though they only took 3 hours from the moment the pencil hit the paper to finish.

And what got me thinking about this?  I have a project for an illustration for a Homeschool Zine that has been running round and round my head and I am itching to begin but am forcing myself to wait until I have it worked out before I start.  I have learned that that makes all the difference.


Idea: 3 years in the works Painting time: 3 hours start to finish.

Idea: 1 year Painting: 4 hours

Idea: 3 days Painting: 1/2 hour (small painting–5x 7″)

Idea: 3 weeks Painting: 1/2 hour