Chaos to Calm

The truth is... painting is messy.

Painting is a career that I love. But that doesn't mean that it's free of its own occupational hazards. My life as an artist leaves me with some daily tattoos. For example, there's always paint on under my nails, my hands are never clean and there is paint on EVERYTHING.

I've been learning to embrace the mess and enjoy the chaos. Recently I've started to keep track of that messiness with every painting that I create. Most artists tend to mix their paint on a wooden pallet and either rinse them off after each painting session or let it pile up over the years. This either leaves them with a blank slate every time or a huge technicoloured mound of paints.

I've decided to do things a bit differently.

For each painting that I create, I devote an entire page in my sketchbook for mixing paints. My the end of the painting process, this one page is covered with a rainbow of colour mixtures and little notes to myself hidden under brushstrokes. The final result is one very messy piece of paper that stands as a stark contrast to the perfected and pure artwork. This messy paper in my sketchbook is a representation of the creative process that turned chaos into calm... both in my mind, and on canvas.

I cherish and adore these pages and use them as away to reflect back on my own artistic process. I'm starting to think that they are beautiful in their own right. Also... maybe, just maybe, they deserve their own frames!

One of my favourite pages. Here is the chaos that I am talking about! This page represents one of my most recent paintings of the Calgary skyline.

One of my favourite pages. Here is the chaos that I am talking about! This page represents one of my most recent paintings of the Calgary skyline.

The final painting! This is the calm created after the storm.

The final painting! This is the calm created after the storm.