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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.

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

There is a lot of energy and bold brush strokes in the early stages of a painting. Its a feeling similar to intense emotion and I’m pulled into the work by color.

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

I often just stare at a piece for long periods of time, not so much thinking as waiting for the painting to tell me what to do next. Sometimes it’s a very slow process and I just lay down for a bit till I feel another wave of energy.

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

I work back and forth between using thin glazes of color and small brush strokes to find my way.

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 the 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.

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

While I worked on this piece I was tentatively calling it “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 ash to rebirth, rebuild and renew itself.

Siobhan Bedford, Artist
Detail of abstract, oil painting by Siobhan Bedford.
Detail of abstract, oil painting by Siobhan Bedford.

After I finished it “Above The Fire” no longer seemed to be the right name. It transformed along the way with brighter color and intricate detail. Patterns of tiny seed like shapes and repeating circles that remind me of water droplets emerged. Staring at it I began to imagine…looking back in time. To the early moments of the creation of our planet. A time when raw elements merged together in fire and water making life possible.

The name “Forces of Eden” came into my mind. Available For Purchase

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

Artist

More posts by Siobhan

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