I’m a detail oriented painter and for me the process of creating is just as fulfilling as arriving at the final artwork. For this reason, I doubt I’ll every be a “fast” painter, churning out multiple works per day, and that admittedly has posed a small quandary for me. You only have a finite amount of time on Earth, and if like me and a majority of other artists, a good portion of your earlier productive life was spent working in other industries to meet bills while you developed your craft, then your catalog of available works isn’t as vast as it could have been.
A little over a year ago I had a discussion with a buyer of one of my pieces and he wanted to know if I had any original artwork under $1000. He understood that my paintings sell for more than that, but what he really wanted was something small. Beside being a slower style artist who relishes the journey, I also enjoy painting big. The average size of one of my paintings is usually in the 48” x 48” range and I find painting small somewhat challenging. His question however put me on a path of discovering how I could tackle making original works of art available to more people at a lower price point while still respecting the time and experience I bring to my work.
I decided I would embark on making limited editions of my paintings – not giclée reproductions, but actual painted works. After deciding to do this, I admit I freaked out just a bit. The thought of committing to such a highly repetitive task in this one arena where I have always felt the most free…I had a premonition of committing myself to a prison of my own making. But something surprising happened.
To test my endurance for this project I created a short series of 8 paintings, all the same size, all the same image. After the second painting I found I wasn’t thinking about the process so much as just letting my thoughts flow. I’ve dabbled in meditation on and off over the past five years, but it’s only been recently that I have committed to it frequently enough to say it’s an actual practice in my daily life, and creating these small repetitive paintings has had a lot to do with that.
While creating these works I find that I can relax my mind and let the activity of working act as a channel opening up deeper contemplation. I actually keep a notebook or sketchbook close because I’m finding that ideas come easier while I’m painting. I attribute this easing of psychological barriers to the fact that I’ve already done the “heavy lifting” with this group of works. That means that any friction that can accompany the design phase – choosing a subject, layout, composition, preliminary sketches etc., has already been handled. Normally this phase accompanies every new artwork, but with these, this process was done once, and now I can just flow. Kind of nice actually.
I’m currently working on a collection of these limited edition original works called my “12 x 12 Project”. These are small, self-contained pieces ready to hang and all priced under $1000. To learn more, visit the Limited Edition Original Works gallery.