Unfinished pieces

round mdf mixed media backgroundLast week’s photos made me realise how messy my work area had gotten, so I did a little half-hearted tidying up today.

We’re also playing host to various builder-types here over the next six to eight weeks as we’re adding on a second living area (a lovely big sunny room) to the back of our little house, so my creativity has kind of stalled with everything going on.

lacey mixed media backgroundWhile I was doing tidying and snoopervising the plumber, I realised that it’s been a while since I actually finished a painting.
And that led me to realise that I go through definite phases in my creativity.

new bald girl painting in progressI seem to have a creativity cycle, where I spend time on backgrounds, then start creating characters on them, and then I narrow it down to one or two and continue on with them – and hopefully finish them.

Other times, I’ll be completely caught up in one piece and work on it obsessively until it’s done.

girl with lanterns mixed media in progressAnd I also go through phases where I’m afraid to touch anything because I feel like I’ll mess it up.
I get my creature’s features pencilled in and can’t go on until I’ve reached the stage of not caring so much.

girl & cat mixed media painting

Once I come back to realising that not every painting is going to be amazing and I don’t have to love every piece, I can start playing again and create something I at least like.

So while I’m waiting for that phase of the cycle to pass, I’m going to do a bit more tidying up, planning of my new creative space
– oooh! and the bloke with the timber has just arrived, so I have more snoopervising to do!

Cheers, jane xx

Princess Lost, my painting process

Princess Lost - mixed media painting by jane coquillonThis is a painting that really had me stumped for a while there.
I actually put her aside for a couple of months in the end, because I just couldn’t see whether she was done yet.

And then I came across her last week and realized that yes, she was.
She was actually finished.

I started out well, with lots of different coloured acrylics, some sharpie mark making and drips of india ink.
Then some daubs of gesso to break up the darkness where it got kind of muddy.

Add some strips and scraps of patterned and gold paper and washi tape, plus some doodling.

Then I could see where a face should be and added my paper for the shape…

I pencilled in her features roughly, and then got so caught up in painting that I forgot to take progress shots!

Once I was happy with her face, I decided to cover up all the craziness of the background and broke out the gesso again.

After I’d scraped a thin-ish layer on with a palette knife it was much easier on the eye…

You can see bits of india ink and ink from my Krink pen that bled through the gesso to prevent it becoming too white.

I really love that, it’s a lovely subtle effect that happens with acrylics over the dry inks.

This is about where I began to feel stuck. I knew that I’d covered up most of the wild colours and patterns, but was it too much?

I’d scratched a scribbly circle above her head and added some yellow ink, but now I thought it was too yellow with the gold paper in her dress.

She sat for a week or so, then I added some drips of orange/red ink to the “sun” and put her aside again, feeling utterly frustrated.


And there she sat for at least three months, until I uncovered her in May and realised that yes, she was finished.

I think this is the longest I’ve ever been stuck on one painting.  What’s your record?

Happy Friday the 13th, jane  xx


{linking in with paint party friday this week}

Feeling Blah

We all have our bad days & “bleagh” weeks, and lately it seems to have been my turn.

process pic - mixed media painting

Nothing especially terrible has happened, I’ve just been feeling down & am finding it a little tougher than usual to pull myself out of it.

Another process pic - mixed media painting

Painting has helped, but it’s kind of hard to get past that ugly stage that I usually push through with little effort.

World Go On - process pic - mixed media painting, jane coquillon

So here’s some horrible, ugly stage paintings that should make anyone feel good about their own creative efforts.

Dressing Up - process pic - mixed media painting - jane coquillon

This last one I’m stuck on the area around the feet. Just totally stuck. Hate it.

Hope you’re all having a great Paint Party Friday.