I have tried to organize the photos but they always end up in piles and boxes littered all over the studio. I use them as reference but not just one, all of them! It is their strewn presence that evokes memories, smells, sights, sounds and even tastes for me as I paint.
Sometimes I sketch from them and have many of these sketch books lying around as well. They are like notes to myself, or notes of a song that has yet to be written. I like having them around me as partially resolved ideas for paintings, nudging their way into my consciousness as I work.
I like the pandemonium of colors and textures surrounding me in the studio. This is how fresh, new relationships between things are made. I let my mind slide into the music and disappear as I begin to work in a dreamy, unfocused state. Looking but not looking too hard. It's more like I am feeling the colors, shapes and textures that are emerging onto the canvas and I am falling into "dreamtime" as I paint. I definitely enter an altered state of consciousness and it is very difficult to articulate what I am doing when I am painting. It is as though language drops away during this state.
Below is a series I am working on called "Notes from the Road." I am having fun exploring the multiple numinous moments that have occurred during numerous road trips, including a solo one across Canada a couple of years ago. These paintings are available HERE.
Many of these small ones are the preliminaries to larger paintings such as the one just fresh off the easel below:
Blue November / 24" x 30" / acrylic on canvas