I work in acrylic paint which is applied to stretched-cotton canvas using a variety of tools typically associated with construction and auto body repair as a way to honor my family’s livelihood.
My painting easel is arranged like a table because I prefer to work with the canvas unsecured and parallel to the floor. I work alone with music playing and inspiration starts when I’m staring at the canvas below me. That moment is thrilling and always feels new.
A large table positioned near my easel allows me to quickly switch around large canvases. Since I’m usually working on a few paintings at a time, this method of staggering allows downtime for the paint to dry which is essential for building layers of color. My studio arrangement has evolved over time because its driven by the need to work quickly and efficiently so I can focus my energy on painting.
As a studio practice, I use my cell phone to photograph every painting at the beginning of paint application, during and at the end of a studio session to track a painting’s visual stages. There’s something about seeing a painting on a smaller platform that highlights flaws in the work.
The photographs are stored on a computer so I can survey a large group of paintings and look for reoccurring themes, marks, and colors. Even if a painting looks done, its kept in the studio for later review. To be critical of my own work I’ve found it essential to allow time to pass between reviews.
Reviewing older paintings while working on new pieces allows me to see them both in a new light and consider how each one fits into the overall body of work. With each painting there is an opportunity to learn and push myself away from routine.
When is a painting finished? There’s no real explanation. I just keep working on them until they look right to me.
The physicality of making a painting is similar to training for a sport. You have to be hyperfocused and detached simultaneously.
Constrained methodologies grounded in the core principles of design; balance, scale, and rhythm; give rise to experimentation and spontaneity. Canvas after canvas, the body of work becomes a physical visual archive revealing variations of color, movement, and texture.
Music serves as the greatest catalyst in creating work. Music, like color, heals and reveals.
– Amy Sedlazek