From Sketch to Show!


I thought it would be fun to show you the progression of a piece entitled “Relish” that was accepted into the group show “Creamsicle” at Art on 30th! 

I alway enjoy when an artist shares their whole process - from inspiration to final piece so here’s my attempt at showing you my process.

Below is the finished piece, Relish!


The first step to this painting was the inspiration, And sometimes inspiration strikes right outside my front door! This is one of my favorite views and is the first sign of summer! The purple jacaranda tree, the bright yellow flowers, the orange yellow green vibrant fire sticks and the bright blue sky. I love the entire field of vision and when you put your eyes out of focus, you just see globs of color. 

the “Creamsicle” show theme was all about artwork that celebrates summer and/or uses the color cream so what better way for me to commemorate the first sign of summer than with a painting that captures it!


Once I knew I wanted to capture this view somehow in a painting, I thought about what kind of aerial views would work well and also celebrate San Diego summer. I snapped a picture of pacific beach / mission bay from the airplane a while back that I’ve always wanted to use for its land formations and waterways. I knew it would be the perfect backdrop.


The next step I took was to narrow in on my color palette and composition. I set my sketchbook up outside and simply looked at the colors in my front yard. Then proceeded to paint the colors I found in the “wild” and liked how the colors came together. 


Ready to go with my new idea, I printed up the saturated, black and white photo at Staples. I pasted the photo onto my previously constructed wood panel with modge podge and gel medium. I bought a “San Diego from Above” book from my local used books store, Blue Stocking. I decided to use the ocean images - I loved all the different colors of blue.


And now for some paint color! Most of my paintings, I start with blue. It's soothing, calming and I feel like I can breathe just a bit before launching into the larger composition. It acts as the life source of my paintings like water is to our bodies, plants and natural landscapes. 


After I painted the blue, I laid out the composition with the plant-life I decided to paint. Then I proceeded to pull in the landscape and this is where it got really fun! This part was all about playing with color, composition and perspective. As much fun as this part of the painting process is, it can also be extremely frustrating when it just doesn't feel right and I risk overworking my painting. It's all a part of the painting dance.  I think I'm growing in letting the process just happen verses get frustrated when I'm frustrated. 

After the ups and downs, I always find a flow and can see the finished result then I just go for it until the end. People always ask me if I really know when it’s done. My painting teacher has a good rule for that. She says “When the painting sings to me, that’s when I know I’m done.” To a slightly abstract feeler like myself - that makes perfect sense. To someone else that might not be the answer they really want to hear. Oh well!


Once I feel like the painting is complete and it’s fully “singing”, I finish off all the little details that make it gallery ready. I ended up painting the sides of my panel white, and taped the sides so I could make the edges crisp and professional. This is where the super detailed side of my comes out - very different from when I'm free flowing and painting big bold strokes!


And here it is hung up at the show! I really loved how it looked with the entire show. All the other paintings were beautiful and so summery!

The show itself was so fun. I had a lot of my community here in San Diego show up as well as my sister and mom. There was pizza, wine, popsicle cookies and other yummy treats. I got to meet some other artists and felt so happy to be in that space. I'm excited for more events here!

Oh and I also matched my painting 🤪.


Overall an incredible evening and it's fun to see the whole process from start to finish!