Variety...the Spice of Life! Part 2

I was sharing in my previous blog about the need for variety in life and how I was pondering why there is so much variety in my artworks. 

Having a Cohesive Body of Work

The reason I was thinking about this is because sometimes having variety in our art can actually work against artists who are seeking Gallery representation. 

For those situations we need to have a cohesive body of work and that is important. 

It's also why I often work in series or a particular subject for some time. 

But as I was thinking about the big 'Why' I create I realised that I'm actually a storyteller. 

I often say that if I wasn't a painter then I'd be a writer as I love the power of story and find words quite beautiful , not just my stories but the stories of the myriads of interesting people I meet. 

Starts and Experiments The images in this blog are all what I call 'starts'. They are the first layers. Sometimes I'll start with a definite idea in my head but I never know the know the end result. 

I don't have that much control. 

Part of the joy of creating this way is that I have to constantly let go. Then pull it back and work into the piece. 

Things like composition and design, contrast, tones, line etc. 

All these things have to be decided and worked on to make the artwork say what I want. 

But it's a bit like a conversation; I say my bit, then I let the painting go and it says it's bit. Back and forth we go. 

I originally started as a realist artist. I could paint and draw anything. But I wanted to be liberated in my creating. I wanted to learn to let go of control and trust myself to find my way through and be able to tell a story. 

Starts are important

These 'starts' often consist of one or two techniques;  say for instance, I may wet the surface with a spray bottle of water then begin  pouring of pigments and inks. 

I'll let the watery surface carry the pigments with a little bit of direction from me. 

But it is mostly about letting go.

One technique I use is to place items into the wet pigment surface and leave overnight. 

I have to plan what I will place on the wet surface and have boxes of items like shells, leaves, bark and 'odds and sods' that I can draw on. 

This is the first layer. 

Sometimes it looks like a finished work but mostly it will have many more layers added on top. 

I forgot to say that most often I plan a composition before I start and may roughly mark it on the surface just as a guide. 

These starts can be small experiments where I will try out techniques, compositions or colour combos. 

They can be artworks in themselves or studies for bigger paintings or series. 

Anyway, I have many ways to start my abstract and expressionist artworks and the variety is all part of the fun. 

Are you an artist? Do you like variety in your work? 

Feel free to share some snippets in the comments box.

Thanks for reading, 

Ciao for now, 

Liv. X. 

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7th Showcase Winner,
Mixed Media, 2016
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International Competition
2nd Place Winner Aug 2010

Studio Atelier|  Gold Coast, QLD  Australia|

Mob: +61(0)411 197 254 |Em: olivia@oliviaalexanderart.com