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  • Writer's pictureagprat

A journey & my Saatchi Art exhibit

Visual artists are often asked how they create, what the process to bring to life an artwork is. By now you know that my process involves a state akin to meditation in which I ruminate on an emotion or a topic I want to explore, letting my intuition take over, usually working in layers and gesturally, and responding to the colors, shapes, textures that I create. In general, there is not much vision or planning about where the painting will take me when I start one in my practice.

Finding out when to stop is always a challenge but I continuously examine the painting I am working on from different perspectives, sometimes letting days pass between painting sessions. I work on my canvas until I feel that the painting is “right”; until I know that I can defend its existence. However, I occasionally revisit an earlier, otherwise finished, painting that I did not completely feel done. When that occurs, my then final finished piece gives me a great deal of satisfaction and joy. I think that when I re-paint on an earlier artwork, the various layers build on a story and an energy that is rarely achieved in an “alla prima” work created in only one session.

Perhaps one of my most extreme examples of re-working a painting happened very recently. Last year, I created a painting (below), working in an intense but quick session. Visitors to my studio loved the colors and the textures on this canvas.

A few months later, right after a break from my studio due to an extended trip, and at the time when the pandemic started, I realized this painting had been prematurely released to the world. Over the course of several weeks, I re-worked it and re-worked it, going through various stages of layering, including a layer of gold paint – that came up as a vision while I was attending an online series of lectures on European Art History, during which I contemplated a significant number of madonnas and annunciations -- and until some biomorphic shapes appeared on the canvas. You can see some of the various stages in the sequence of images below.

In the end, the painting “Considering (Temporal embrace eclipsing the virus)” was born! Posting its image in Instagram, I received many amazing suggestions for its title (Colors in times of coronahope; Hope eclipses the virus; Light, on the cracks; Scarlet embrace; Hot meets cold: temporal embrace). The experience, the journey that lead me to this new piece was prolonged, convoluted, and full of surprises. I am glad I persisted with my questioning and reacting to my painting until it felt right. This oil painting and a few others are now in my new virtual exhibition at Saatchi Art.

Image: Considering... (Temporal embrace eclipsing the virus), oil media on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, available for purchase. If you are interested in this or other of my artworks, please contact me here.

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