Today is the Big Day! Hurray!!! I’m so, so excited to finally be able to share my new website and my entire Summer Butterflies series with you all. These paintings are a wonderful reflection of the colors and patterns that make me happiest, and I hope they will spread that joy to their new homes!
Here are a few thoughts on what I’ve learned about myself and my art-making process through this series:
Concrete goals are my secret sauce. I’ve always been a bit of a creative scatter-brain, so I was amazed by how setting a specific plan (and telling other people about it) almost magically drew out the determined, focused side of me! Simply committing to painting a series of patterned butterflies gave me just enough clarity to really buckle down and get to work. Also, I had a real reason to say “no” when other tempting creative whims tried to distract me.
Yikes! I can make some pretty bad color and design decisions when they’re all coming at me at the same time. Splitting my process for each piece into two distinct steps helped each painting flow more beautifully and naturally. Using inspiration images, I first decided on a color palette to pre-mix. Next, I focused on painting spontaneously with the palette I knew I already loved. Instantly easier!
STAY LOOSE AND DON’T OVERTHINK
Painting loosely feels so good, but it doesn’t always come naturally to me. By “loose,” I don’t necessarily mean a style of brush strokes, but more a mental posture. The smaller paintings on paper were wonderful exercises in spontaneous decision-making and following the painting’s lead for what to do next. Whenever I began to tighten up and overthink things, I reminded myself to relax and be a bit more impulsive. The final paintings always were better for it!
IT GETS EASIER
When I approach a subject for the first time, everything is new and exciting, but also a bit scary and challenging. Working through each painting and its unique creative problems, I learned more and more about my taste for color (chartreuse and coral are always a good ideas), how to find the balance between busy areas and places to let the eye rest (more is not always better), and what patterns and brush strokes I love to use (lots of dots and dashes). I was amazed by how my final painting flowed from my brush so effortlessly, like it was a familiar friend.
I’m so inspired and energized by what I learned from this series, I can’t wait to hop back into the studio and keep making! I hope you enjoy the Summer Butterflies as much as I did creating them!