Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Valerie's ideas

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How do you get your ideas?

Sometimes I’ll toy with words, maybe a cliché such as “Hang in there!” Then I visualize Isabel and friends in various circumstances and positions of “hanging in.” Sometimes I’ll sketch the image before putting brush to paint, but, mostly, I “draw” as I paint. One of the beauties of working with acrylic is that if I don’t like the way something looks, I can just paint over it.

Sometimes I’ll see something in a magazine that triggers an Isabel moment. I’m notorious (just ask my family) for cutting up magazines. For a couple of years, I kept a file on magazine eyes; one on frogs; one on barns; etc. Recently, I threw out all those scraps of paper. Most of the time, I paint from memory or imagination, sometimes referring to a calendar or book for a particular detail.

My images tell stories, I’ve found. Even if Isabel is by herself, one may guess a scenario by the scenery or props. Also I try to give clever titles to pieces, such as “Udderly Octo-whelmed,” tools to prompt the viewer into understanding the story.

Picture credit: "Manly Man MOO", acrylic, 16" x 12"

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