That said, something in me cracked open in these three days and I discovered a new way to make art and love making art. We approached each painting in exactly the opposite manner that I usually go at it. I normally have in my head exactly what I want to paint and then I sketch it several times and then I trace it onto the final watercolor paper and outline it in black ink. Then I fill it with color. Except I can go for weeks and weeks with nothing I wan to paint.
With Jesse we painted only with our fingers for the entire first day. We created what he calls the grounds. A rich and layered background with no subject or expectation. Then we spent the next day reducing the chaos of the grounds into an image or a collection of images. In some cases, when nothing appeared, we went in and drew a figure or a posture on top of everything and blocked out the rest. This was HARD. In this particular piece I only really saw the bird head thing in the upper right corner, which was originally the lower right corner. So I made a big figure and blocked out the rest.
We worked mainly on 18x24 Bristol paper but some folks brought in wood. I tried a piece on wood at the end and really liked the feel. My hands were covered in paint the entire time. And Jesse was a riot. I am exhausted now. And need to pack up the rest of the house before the painters arrive tomorrow morning. Hopefully my daughter will be well enough for the drive south to Grandma's. I'll share my other four paintings over the next few days.