This week has been a wild one! From putting up the shop to rounding out the last of the pieces for the show, I was really enjoying my baths at the end of the day.
I did pause to take some pictures of the process on the very last piece I worked on, called, “The Person I Love Most Is Me”. I’m often curious about the processes that other artists go through in order to achieve their aesthetic–how long does it take? What materials do they use? Hopefully this will give you some insight into the way I work.
I usually start with some thick watercolor paper. If I’m going to be painting heavily, I’ll gesso it. In this case, I chose not to gesso the Arches paper, and just allowed the natural texture to show through. I got started by doing a pencil drawing of the figure.
Note: My favorite thing in the world is to have a live model in front of me while I work. This is not always feasable though as here I am in Los Angeles, the land where models are busy! Most of the time, I am able to have some time with a model and snap her photo. This particular drawing is worked from a photo.
Have you met my best friend, The Respirator? Look, I ain’t gonna front–somehow there’s this perception that artists sit at an easel all day mixing colors and putting them to canvas. Sometimes that happens, but more often than not, you’ll find yourself cramped into spaces that are awkward and too small to comfortably draw. Or you’ll get paint ALL OVER you (that’s me, 110 percent of the time while working). Or you’ll smell funny because art involves moving around and spilling shit on yourself. You’ll find weird stuff like glitter in your tub when your last glitter project was two weeks ago.
I use spray paint a lot, so my respirator gets a work out. I will warn you to steer clear of Rustolium’s matte clear spray paint. It was so fumey when I used it, that I felt like it was burning through my respirator! My friend told me that when she used it outside with a respirator, she ended up with a bloody nose! I don’t know how that stuff is legal.
After my figure was drawn out, I used a gauche wash for my background. I love using my large brush, and just pushing the pigment and water around till it blends into each color. Gauche dries quickly, but I like to wait a day so it can really settle into the paper with the water and dry into itself properly. I also painted our subject’s sunglasses, as they were the only other color element in the piece.
All dry! The following day, I got down to business laying out pieces of lace and spray painting through them. Another day to dry, just to be safe!
Inking is high up there on my list of favorites. I have a variety of ink pens that I like to use, of varying widths and density of color. Most of the time I move back and forth between a few. You’ll notice that I’m working from right to left– that’s because of the dreaded left handers curse, in which your writing hand will likely smudge all of the meticulous work you’ve always committed to paper. This part of the process is the most time consuming, but it is also the most rewarding. Subjects really get rounded out and I love that style is integrated in such a concrete way.
90% inked up! I put the mid-size magazines I own on the corners, to keep the paper from rolling up. I like to think that Lula is infusing some of it’s beautiful spirit into the piece!
More inking! And then I take to the sewing machine and straight stitch where I’ve mapped out. This is another one of those times that is incredibly awkward, as this piece is so large that the paper won’t comfortably fit through the machine at all angles. I manuver and try to be patient, and it gets through.
The finished piece! Once everything is dry, I do another once over with the ink pen. After that, I make sure to take a picture. And then it’s off to GCS, where you can check it out! xo