“Monarch” – mixed media (graphite, chalk, oil), 9×12″

I’m excited to share a new painting that I finished up recently: “Monarch” – mixed media on illustration board, 9×12″. I’ve recorded the process of this painting from start to finish and to learn more about that, you can click here to go to the Muddy Colors Patreon page. In this video (called Flow because of the nature of how I paint), my painting develops from a blank slate then morphs into various mindscapes to ultimately finish as an imaginative realism portrait. I hope you enjoy watching the development of the painting and hearing the conversation that Dan Dos Santos and I have about art, life, and the making of this piece in that video. If you’ve ever wondered what the exploration and discovery part of my painting process looks like in motion, experiencing this will lend some insight for sure.

I spent about 2/3 of the time putting broad loose strokes down and picking out of the marks, while turning the surface in various directions to build the imagery in any/all directions. I eventually started to settle on a vertical composition after seeing some shapes I was drawn to and a story that was emerging in them. In terms of process, the progression of this painting is done with a lot of pushing and pulling graphite, also adding some chalk later in the atmosphere/background, giving form to the abstract marks, and giving life to an emerging vessel and story in the forms.

About 2/3 of the way into this piece, the portrait was found in/influenced by the abstract marks and it was painted from imagination as the rest of the painting was. This process is generally how I tend to work, but usually I have a few pieces going at once in various stages of finish, with a different focus or intent in the imagery on each surface I may be working on.

The forms in the abstract areas of the painting developed organically and as I expanded on the unfolding of the marks into forms, this dialog with the painting showed itself to me in the form of a visual reimagining of recent life experiences. When I flipped the piece vertically, I was really drawn to the indication of a crown shape at the top, the overall chrysalis form, and the profile of a face on the left and decided to add the face that you see here in this painting. The character here emerged from the story itself and transformed into this new character, wearing her previous identity as a crown. I discuss much of my decision-making and thought process as well as the specific tools and materials and painting process overall in the video, as Dan asks me questions and we share a dialog about art and life.

Here are some screen shots from the video

You can get this video right now in the Muddy Colors Shop

Or, you if sign up to the Muddy Colors Patreon before the month’s end, you can get access to this video for just $5!