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Painting Process

I have found in the last year or so of being an artist that sometimes you come across blocks and ways that your creativity might need a bit of a boost in order to create something. Often, staring at a big blank white canvas can be very intimidating and the fear of "ruining it" or making a mistake while painting a new painting can be very real. I found myself dreading starting a new piece because I would always be confronted with this fear, especially when I didn't know exactly what I wanted to paint. Just "starting" became the hardest part of the creative process.

In response to this intimidating feeling and inner critic that is always looming in the back of my head, I decided to just start. No idea what to paint? Just start. Take some paint, use whatever tools you like, and start. It was incredibly freeing to start this way, not knowing what it was going to be but all the while painting like I did. After creating this way for some time now, I have found that sometimes the painting will tell me what it wants to be. I know this may sound a bit silly, but in all honesty and given the natural subject matter I usually find myself painting, this has happened numerous times. The organic shapes that come to life in the way I layer the paint on the canvas sometimes hint to shapes of animals or landscape forms. It also may help that sometimes I really am trying to "see" what might be there in the colors and shapes of the abstract background.

For this particular piece, this process rang true. I knew I wanted to paint some kind of animal but wasn't sure what. After developing the background through a few painting sessions, I starting seeing how some of the colors, drips, and forms would lend themselves well to wings. I have painted so many owls and although they are my favorite, I thought I would try something different. Living in Montana, we often see large birds of prey. Eagles, both Golden and Bald are a common presence and beautiful birds.

This is the process that I went through to create this Golden Eagle painting.

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