“Play is the essence of creativity. Creative play and gut reaction, instinct. When I work on a piece I play. I have a whole huge selection of the studio where I have an inventory of sculptural forms, simple abstract, non-specific shapes that I find beautiful and enjoy making. Then I start building these shapes together. And then I find myself smiling. I say ‘hello! I think I’ve got something.’ The process is intuitive, not intellectual. You have to learn to be spontaneous and trust yourself.” -Ruth Duckworth
I’ve described my process for making my rabbits before with words, so I thought I would show you in images. They are born through a series of line marks and paint. I had two birch panels each 12×12 gessoed and ready to go. I knew I wanted to paint a couple of rabbits, but as I applied the background paint, I decided to do them both the same. Once the background was complete, I began the rabbit with a rough sketch. At this stage I can erase the charcoal lines until I feel the rabbit’s personality start to emerge. I then spray a fixative so I can continue without smudging the charcoal lines.
WIP – rabbit
WIP – other rabbit
At first these were going to be two separate paintings, but after painting in the first layer of paint, I set them on my easel side-by-side and walked away to let the paint dry. When I came back and looked, I knew that these needed to be framed together in the same frame.
This step is often repeated, line marks with charcoal, fixative, more paint.
WIP – step 2
And below is the final image. They will be framed, shadow-box style together. Not just two rabbits — but best friends, born together, friends forever.
12×24 birch panel
When we framed the two 12×12 birch panels, we decided on switching the position. And that position called for a new title – ‘Old Friends.’ You know those friends you’ve had forever. The ones that you can disagree with and still love each other.
Which position do you like best?
acrylics, charcoal, cold wax
12×24 birch panel
“To say that making art is a conversation or dialogue between the maker and the paper is to oversimplify. It is a series of attractions and repulsion that may begin with intention and end with analysis, but the real meaning (the truth of the work) is arrived at in the processes and moments of making.” –William Kentridge