Splash - The Journey

Splash - 36" x 36" 

The inspiration for Splash came during my pursuit for a fresh dose of joy. The past couple of years I experienced a lot of loss and sadness and needed something to rekindle some joy in my life, so I began a new painting. As I painted, I became acutely aware that even though we may not feel joy, it's still there hidden in the recesses of our soul; buried inside waiting to splash up and surprise us when we least expect it.

The original concept was to create a raised, textured circle on a dark blue background but as I began applying texture, intuition took over and the painting took on a life of its own. The circle transitioned into a splash--a splash of hidden joy that was deep inside all along even though I wasn't aware of it. That splash of joy was just what I needed to get the emotional healing process started.

I invite you to join me on a journey of the construction process of Splash. It took five months to complete and has over 50 layers. I didn't paint every day. Many days were filled with studying the painting and waiting to see where it would lead next. Studying and waiting is a big part of my creative process. Below is a photo journey of the painting progression. I didn't document every layer because many of them consisted of subtle changes that were difficult to capture in a photograph. 

Click thumbnails to enlarge

1. Tissue paper iss applied with gel medium to create the background texture. 

2.More tissue paper is added for texture. Color of paper doesn't matter.

3. First layer of background color is applied. 

4. Modeling paste is applied with pallet knife. Beads are embedded into paste while wet.

5. First turquoise wash is painted onto the relief texture.

6. More turquoise is added with many more layers to come.

7. A Marine blue wash starts developing the background tones adding depth. 

8. Additional texture is applied as needed for better balance.

9. Layers of paint are added to blend and merge the texture and color.

10. Several layers of blue are added.

11. Background and embedded beads are painted dark blue. A turquoise wash is applied.

12. More layers are added to even out background color and the textured area. 

13. White and coarse copper are rubbed into crevices to add depth and contrast.

14. Coarse copper metallic is added in areas along with more layers of paint.

15. Close-up showing white and copper accents and texture.

16. Close up showing how texture wraps edges of canvas.

17. Turquoise scumbled over background accentuates tissue paper texture.

18. Signature is added to the bottom righthand corner. Ready to be sealed.

19. Splash (of Hidden Joy) is finished! It is signed and sealed with an archival UV protective satin varnish to preserve the colors. The varnish had to be sprayed outside; so for the best results, I waited for a day when the wind was not blowing and the humidity was below 50%. Once sealed, an acrylic painting needs to cure for a minimum of two weeks before it can be safely wrapped for shipping.

Thank you for your interest. I hope you have enjoyed learning a little more about my creative process. I always enjoy the intuitive part of creating a painting and watching as it evolves. Regardless of whether it's a small piece or a large artwork, each one truly is a journey and expression of my inner self -- my hopes, my dreams, my struggles.  ~Susan