When I start a new painting I look for objects that will tell a story. I wander through the museum, pull out a key artifact and then search for the supporting characters. Keeping an overall "story" in mind, I choose those characters based on how they can enhance the set up, either through shape or color. Once I have these elements I take them back to the painting area and start the setup. This is the most crucial part of building a painting. I will arrange, rearrange, and rearrange some more, even letting it set for a day or two before settling on a final composition. I will make some sketches at those different stages, and still find myself moving the objects slightly when it comes to actually putting brush to canvas. This is the point where I become most observant of the edges both of the canvas and where one object touches another and find slight alterations must be made. I find this whole process to be like a curation of the painting itself. Every arrangement is carefully thought out, although I do leave some room for chance. In a recent painting I began with a book and a candle, and then added a pair of glasses. Like an actor I took the glasses from before my face and laid them down like I had just finished the book and was about to rub my eyes, the candle extinguished. This tells a story.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!