• Jessica

painting breakthrough



This one is called She’s Lived Every Life But Her Own and it’s one of my all time favorite paintings! That's because it's responsible for a major painting breakthrough. You may look at it and wonder why. I won’t be offended in the least. Let me explain!


I have always wanted to be able to paint loosely and abstractly. I let myself be very loose when I start an underpainting and for so long I would love my underpaintings and be less happy with the final result. So frustrating! I tried telling myself “everything is an underpainting” along the way to TRY to remind myself to stay loose.


This was the painting where it finally clicked. When I started it, I wasn’t really in the mood to paint. I was painting over a very ugly old painting. I started with yellow and magenta as usual but it was too dark since I was painting over a painting rather than on a new white canvas. Adding in white helped me lighten it and keep adding layers.

The result was messy and a little chaotic but pretty soon I talked myself into adding some blue to my palette. That allowed me to mix some greens and start to make sense of the composition. I kept up the loose, brushy, underpainting freedom the whole time!

For me, this painting illustrates a real breakthrough moment. I explained this to my kids (who do not love this painting) and they remained steadfast in their disinterest. Oh well. You can’t win ‘em all.


(I have been working behind the scenes to prepare 14 paintings for a launch! They will all be up in the shop on February 10th at noon, this one included.)