Every time i get an urge to create a new drawing, it's almost finished before i even get it onto paper.
The art is something that i can sometimes"see" perfectly colored and formed in my mind. Some pieces start as an idea..a sweet photo of my dog Rosie, a feeling about the 60's that i get when i hear a particular song, a little notation on a post it note, a sketch that i did after having to pull over when i was driving brcause i was afraid that i would lose the drawing i was thinking about.
And so when those swirls of color and pencil lines begin to intrude in the day to day rolodex in my brain, i get excited. Sometimes as i refine a pencil sketch, the art goes in a different direction..it begs for an emphasis in the line work, or a brilliant burst of color..or just a line drawing that comes from my hand to the paper just as i want it..with no need to fix or fret over how i need to make it right and allow it to rest for all time as it is formed (this is VERY RARE!).
But the part that amazes me is reaching that moment when i know that the work is finished..it just is and i'm able to let it go because i know that i have made it as close to the perfection that each illustration deserves..that it is as "me" as i can give it and now it will represent me as it goes off into the world.
Most pieces start in pencil..refined a few times to get the composition on the paper that i'm looking for..i usually end up covered in pink eraser shavings. After the drawing is where i want it, i place it on my lightbox, and cover it with the type of paper my finished art will be on. When the box is turned on, i can see my original pencil lines and then "paint" over them on the fresh paper with color and outline..this way you don't get dirty pencil marks from the traditional way of copying by tracing, nor do you get away from the elegance of the original lines by drawing over them..sometimes , even a few milimeters of re-drawingcan change the whole look of a drawing..to show you some examples i've attached the original and finished art on some of my prints.
The Little Witch was one of those rare pencil drawings that just worked from start to finish..i knew exactly how she would look when she was done. The "Magical Night" print was a custom piece done from very specific instructions and a request to illustrate someone's experience with a mouse that she wanted illustarted as if it were from a child's storybook...this went thru several drafts until it felt as special to me as her experience. The "Art Deco Girl" was finished just this past Tuesday night. I was watching the Yankees and suddenly wanted to draw..i just sat down and she evolved 30 minutes later as a sketch and i was compelled to finish painting her before i went to bed...i couldn't wait until she was finished.
For me the process of creating these pieces of art that people buy for their homes is such a humbling experience. It would almost be enough to just make them and have them as a testament of what i do. The idea that people want to own them, that people enjoy them, that people want to hang them in their homes,or share them with their friends, or collect my art is almost more than i can bear..it brings me so much joy to know that i exist in another form for many different people in many different places and no matter what, I will go on even after i'm gone.