Posted on March 23 2018
For close to a month now, I have been sharing the final outcome; better known as the products, with very little insight into my process. So what better way to begin penning down Notes than to spend a little time on walking you through my process.
My process is very different from my routine. I don't necessarily wake up very early in the morning and get to my studio by 8 am. If I wake up at 9 am, I am in my studio by 930 am simple because I caught up with the digital work for 29 minutes right from my bed and then got up and walked into my studio aka my living room in the last minute. Yes, I almost entirely work from home.
Since my living room fashions into my studio very often, I begin by saving my floor, and my deposit to my landlord, by rolling my beautiful area rug and keeping it aside and spreading an old bed spread, that I've used since Day 1 of when I got back into painting a couple of years ago, onto the floor. This double bed spread holds more memories and paint than my mind and my fingernails at any given point in time. I recently acquired a big sheet of untreated canvas so that has joined the Let's Salvage The Floor Gang too. Once these two have been spread a. Wide enough to cover the area I'll be requiring and / or b. As wide as the area allows, I head on over to my bookshelf.
My bookshelf is a tall guy. The last floor of the shelf is where I house all my paints. So I take my time and choose a palette that's forming in my mind. I am not one to shy away from colour so once my palette is fixed, it's a given that a lot of paint containers and old plates and bowls have started forming the frame around my area of work + holding the old bed spread down because before everything else, the window and the balcony door are wide open, letting an awesome breeze and light in.
Before I begin painting, I usually get a cup of tea or coffee brewing that almost always gets cold by the time I remember to drink it. Also, it is set aside on a teapoy because I tend to walk around a lot while painting, making sure I cover all four sides of the canvas, its edges and every other Surface that is visible.
So, we've got the breeze, light, tea or coffee, floor cover and paints with us.
Next, I lay the canvas in the centre of it all and finally settle down. I brush any visible dust of the canvas, also utilising this time to feel the canvas, feel its texture under my fingertips, feel the way it folds over its frame. It is an essential and a sensual step. It is also essential that it be sensual. To make some good work, it's important to love every bit of it from start to end. If I don't feel it, I take a step back and sit on my red armchair and drink my coffee while it's hot. If there's anything that I've learnt during all these years of painting is that if it is forced, it is not going to work. So I take my time, feel the canvas, align it right. If it the canvas is unstretched, then I take the time to gently roll it in reverse and straighten it out. There is no hurry whatsoever.
Once I am 100% happy with everything, which is almost all the time, I then begin.