Studio News

Capturing new ideas

Capturing new ideas

Some insights into my art practice and one of the processes I go through when starting work on a new idea...

I almost always see a new painting or series of paintings first in my head.... getting them out of there is the tricky part and finding the right process to translate what I see in my mind out into the physical world is something that continually evolves, but there are a few key steps that I go through in most cases.

Usually ideas come like a sudden thought in my mind, often in the middle of the night when I should be sleeping or while I'm out adventuring with the family. If I'm out of the studio, I'll have to capture as much as possible using a pen and whatever drawing surface is available, a sketch book, napkin, the back of a receipt in my bag etc. I begin by breaking down what I see into different areas so when it comes time to working through the idea in the studio I know where to start.

Composition - I usually do a few quick line sketches to roughly map out the composition and proportions of the piece 

Direction - Some works don't start with a specific composition but rather a particular direction or starting point on the paper that informs how the paint will be applied, in this case I might use a series of pen marks or lines to record the direction
Colour - If I have specific colours in my mind then ideally I will go through my paints and start mixing colours and making little strip palettes as soon as possible. If I'm out of the studio I'll just make some written notes about the colours I see working for a particular series

Feel - I make notes about the feel of the work. Do I see the painting being really loose? Is there a lot of deliberate or random movement? Does it feel soft? Light? Heavy?

Much of my work is an interpretation of my surroundings, what I observe or how I feel about the natural environment around me. This process really works for capturing my interpretations on the go.  For more snippets of my processes and studio happenings please pop over to my Instagram account and say hello at @becduffstudio x

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