Art in Action...begins with a blank canvas

 The Beginning

This particular client is a personal friend of mine. She used to have Summer Camp for about five to ten kids at her lake home each summer. Her home is also like a mecca for friends and family. All she really told me was it had to be big.  Three by five feet big! We went into Atlanta to buy supplies. I had absolutely no idea what would go on that gigantic canvas!

 The Creative Process

Once I have an idea of what my client has in mind, I search for a picture to represent that idea, but in this case, I had no clue what I was going to paint. Funny thing though about Coming Home, it showed up the very next day on a friend's Facebook page. As soon as I saw it (and got permission), I knew it was perfect! My client was thrilled! After prepping the canvas and transferring the drawing, I began. Never had I ever attempted such a large painting. Those squiggly marks in the foreground was me not wanting to waste paint. I really didn't know at that point how they would eventually become part of the undertones of the water. At first I was pretty (VERY) overwhelmed, but with DAILY encouragement, I began to hit my stride. I focused on one section at a  time. I could see in my mind where I wanted it to go. Gradually, it started to unfold.  

 Coming Together

It is not automatic. Not by any means. It takes time, rhythm and courage. Sometimes it takes more courage than I think I have. It also requires trust on my part. Trust and a belief in myself that if I persist, I will get it on canvas the way I see it  in my mind's eye. I so often hesitate to show a work in progress to anyone. They can only see what's on the canvas, not what's in my head.

 Finishing Touches

When working on a piece this large, I had a hard time finding a stopping place each day. Which is why I so often paint until the wee hours of the morning. Either I reach a point of fatigue or I use up the paint on my palette. Even then, I take a picture on my phone to study before I fall asleep. Often that's when I find something which needs correcting.


With Coming Home I primarily worked on the canoes and the dock. Once I felt like I had them right, I began to focus on the water. I am convinced I could overwork any piece, but there does come a point where I think it is finished. However, the ultimate moment of completion occurs when my painting is hanging on the owner's wall.