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How I Make a Painting

Painting in Progress by Siobhan Bedford

Edward Hopper said “If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.”

So, I’ll try not to say too much but I’ll share with you some work in progress photos as I explain.

The magic ingredient in painting is time. My process is to build up layer over layer. Sometimes with a small brush and sometimes pouring the paint on and letting it flow. I started working on this painting back in the beginning of June 2015

It’s slowly starting to come together.

Work in Progress by Siobhan Bedford
Painting In Progress by Siobhan Bedford

I love the energy and bold brush strokes in the early stages of a painting.

Painting in Progress By Siobhan Bedford
Painting In Progress by Siobhan Bedford
Work In Progress by Siobhan Bedford

Sometimes, I just lay down for a bit till I know what to do next.

Painting In Progress by Siobhan Bedford
Artist Selfie in the Studio
Painting in Progress by Siobhan Bedford

I use many thin glazes of color to find my way.  In this piece I have been experimenting with throwing powdered graphite into the mix.

Paint Brush
Paint Brush

It becomes a subtle process of pushing and pulling shapes and shadows out of the paint. Using rags, brushes and sometimes scraping through paint. It’s important for me to feel the energy move freely through me as I work. It might sound a bit strange to you but I’ve found that the more I can withdraw from my conscious thinking mind the clearer the painting becomes.  You can think of it a wondering around in a color and canvas world.

Painting In Progress By Siobhan Bedford
Paining in progress by Siobhan Bedford
Painting In Progress by Siobhan Bedford

It is’t finished yet… so I’ll be letting it dry for a few weeks and then dive back into all that color.

At the moment I’m tentatively calling the piece “Above the Fire” because it gives me the feeling of hovering over the hot coals.

A sense of being burnt to the bone, in the wake of emotional destruction.

Only the structure remains, as a temple for the ash to rebirth, rebuild and renew itself.

UPDATE: This painting is finally finished.

It transformed along the way with brighter color and intricate detail.

After I finished it “Above The Fire” no longer seemed to be the right name.

Staring at it I began to imagine, looking back in time to the moment when raw elements merged together to make life possible on our planet.  The name “Forces of Eden” came into my mind.

Available for purchase click >> here

Abstract, oil painting by Siobhan Bedford.

Some other posts that might interest you… How I name a painting or How I know when a painting is finished

Author Siobhan


More posts by Siobhan

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