The first piece I played with after not painting for about five years was a medium sized unfinished wood bowl that turned into an extension of the kind of designs I’d painted on my wood bangles. As with the bangles, the hardest part of the process for me is choosing the colors! I literally agonized (and still do) over which color combinations to use and most of the time I finally get so irritated with myself that I demand that I commit! And somehow, when I finally do, it all works out. That surprises me as much as anyone who might be watching.
The next step in my process is to set some strategic dots. At this point I still don’t have any design in mind, it’s just a starting place. And again, every time somehow something interesting and wonderful begins to emerge. When I was painting bangles, I worked on three of them at a time and that system works out well for me, so I began working on three vessel pieces at a time as well. The reason I work on three is because I will run out of ideas on one or paint has to dry, so I put that one aside and pick up the next in line and paint that one till I run out of ideas there too, and then on to the third piece and continue that cycle until somewhere in my being I know it is finished. Inevitably at some point in the process I hit a “fork in the road” so to speak or I run into a “brick wall” with major choices to make and directions to go. That’s when the challenge and fun begins. There have been times it looked to me like the entire piece was ruined then somehow, I would pull it through and end up with a wonderful bowl or vase.
It’s hard for me to say how much time I spend on each piece because time doesn’t mean much to me when I’m in my painting “zone.” And a zone it truly is. Another interesting fact is that later on after a piece is finished, I look at it in amazement wondering how I even did it… the overall execution of it from design to precision.