Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..

On Making Art……

My Porch Studio

My Porch Studio

The more I explore the art making process the more I realize it is all about creative problem solving. As I work, I’m constantly scrutinizing my paintings and continually questioning and rethinking every brushstroke and element I add to the canvas.  My creative process is based on intuition, a strong foundation in the psychological connotations of the elements of design and a healthy dose of self doubt.

Self Portrait with Mixed Media Painting

Self Portrait with Mixed Media Painting

Even though I’m making abstract mixed media works, I usually know when the colors and brush strokes are right and when they’re not. It’s a constantly evolving process… one that I must force myself to be patient with and trust in.

Sun and Thorns - Mixed Media Painting by Patrick Keough

Sun and Thorns – Mixed Media Painting by Patrick Keough

It can take months for me to complete a mixed media painting. Most of the time I just decide to stop working on it instead of declaring it completely finished.  There is also the trust factor.  I have come to grips with (accepted) the fact that my paintings are going to get worse before they get better.  Its part of my personal process. I was working on a new painting last night and after adding some foreign materials to it and then applying paint over the textured areas I was not at all pleased with how it was looking.

Byzantine Icon Abstraction #1

Byzantine Icon Abstraction #1

I stepped back….took a sip from my beer and stared at it while it dried. After 15 minutes of scrutinizing the painting I went back in and broke the colors up with some black paint and all of a sudden my initial concept for the painting started to emerge. You just have to trust in the act of making art. Trust in yourself and your intuition and not be afraid to take risks or even fail because for me the act of painting is where the personal fulfillment and joy comes from, not so much the final result. Retirement has given me the opportunity to get back to my painting on a more regular basis and for this I am thankful.

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”

Andy Warhol

Click here to see more of my paintings and mixed media work.


One comment on “On Making Art……

  1. A beer is a great companion for work! 🙂

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This entry was posted on February 18, 2013 by in ArT and tagged , , , , .
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