First phases of a painting

I thought I would share what my paintings first start out looking like. They’re not too pretty. Mostly just a bunch of color. I use a brush or my fingers and spread the color around. I’m working intuitively and not thinking too much about it…it’s rather fun and messy.

Then I use a rag from one of those white muscle man t-shirts and dab the paint around and create some texture from the ribbed pattern on the t-shirt. It’s hard to explain in writing. If you want to watch a video of me doing a demo of how I start a painting, you can check out my youtube channel where I show how it’s done.

I know that I want to paint more of my aspen/birch tree paintings. So that is what I’m thinking about as I start these.


I like to put in some black pattern as an under layer so it is at this point that I add the black line.

I’m working on a large one as well as the two smaller ones.


I’m not sure I like the larger one. There might be too many trees in it. It’s feeling a little busy but maybe I just need to keep working on it. I think more layers of paint and pattern will soften it…atleast that’s what I’m hoping.

My paintings almost always go through a phase where they look really ugly! It’s the early stages before more layers are added. They often look stark and rough. I’ve learned it’s a phase and if I keep working through it, the painting gets to a point that it starts looking like what I’m aiming for.

Isn’t that true of so many things? How if we just stick with something, we will be rewarded? It is often hard to see it when we’re right in the middle of something. Sometimes we just want to give up. I’ve learned that what is on the surface is not always what it appears in the end. Sometimes we need to sit still and let the Universe reveal whatever it may be to us. Or in this case, with my painting, I need to keep moving with it, working on it, to see what is to come.

I love that about painting. The process, and how it can feel like a mystery. The “I wonder how this is going to turn out” feeling. Sometimes the painting feels like it is painting itself, easy and flowing, and other times, it is a struggle, a push to reveal itself. I don’t know why one may feel one way and another, the other way. But I do know, I have to go through the rough undercoats before I am rewarded with the final layers of beauty.

After these paintings are finished, I’ll show you the end results. Stay tuned.

6 thoughts on “First phases of a painting

  • February 1, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    I absolutely love the blending of colors that resemble chalk. I had to explore your site to see how you achieved the blending… absolutely gorgeous!!! You are so very talented…

  • March 26, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Here’s a funny thing. I was talking to my dad on the phone and decided to pounce through Etsy as I used to do. I pounced over and over and over again, and then I thought what a miracle it was that day I just happened to pounce when you just happened to be in the pounce-line, and I just happened to do it long enough to find my red dog sleeping – and how long ago was that? Almost a year ago, and here we are – I was so worn out with working with the book, and you, giving me strength to continue.

    I’m grinning to myself. LIfe is sometimes very good.

  • March 26, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    You know I love all of your work…but I understand what you mean about an “ugly” phase, I was just thinking the same thing about all of the doodles I’ve done this month and given away over on my blog…there is ALWAYS a point where I think it isn’t balanced, or where it isn’t going right, or where it just plain is not worth finishing…and my agreement with myself is that I will finish each of them, no matter what…THEN look at them. So far, I’ve loved all of them when finished…I guess it is just a sign to trust your intuitive self…gotta have that faith.

  • March 25, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Yes, yes, yes – love to watch the process. I want to see how the black goes on, too – the bits and flecks. Is that on the YouTube thing? But you really blew me away with the middle of the post, Lindy. I spent about twelve hours yesterday trying to re-work a manuscript. I’ve been trying to get at it for months, but I’m as skittish about sitting down and focusing as the proverbial tin-roofed cat. It was hard yesterday, and I’m not finished. I didn’t sleep after it. What you said about your paintings? How they read a point where they are just ugly? Writing a long piece is like that, too. Where you hate it, and you’re afraid it will never come right, never work. Sometimes I have to walk away – maybe even for a year or two – before I can break through. And yesterday was hard for that reason. I had been saving this piece till I had time to read it. I should have read it before I started this mess – it would have given me strength.

  • March 22, 2010 at 7:06 am

    how fun it is to see your process!
    i just love your tree series…espec. love the colors of the rightside one (green/orange/pink)…love the freedom of how you begin & isn’t it so true about how art parallels life?!/with the layers & so on. lol


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