At one point in my art career, I became overly serious about composition. I would carefully plan out all the space for my paintings, and then draw it out proportionately with exact intentness onto my watercolor paper. This was good and certainly effective work. A good plan always helps with success and frees you up to respond to your media.
One day I was painting a large scale chicken painting with straw like pieces flying all over the place. The proportioned sketch left a 4”x 30” empty space across the top of the paper which I taped off. I began painting and decided to warm up by painting the silhouette of a chicken in the space. It looked cool and I proceeded to paint on my main picture. While waiting for the paint to dry, I put another chicken at the top of the page and then just couldn’t’ stop. Before the big painting was complete I had created a magical border of chickens across the top. A customer in Edina, MN bought the piece and used it to design her entire living room/kitchen and social areas in a color scheme around the painting.
The outcome of this experience far exceeded the one painting. It was truly fun. Suddenly, I had all kinds of ideas about doing chicken paintings. So I rationalized it was ok to do a fun painting instead of everything being seriously composed. Creativity exploded in this non-judgmental atmosphere. I started mixing chickens with boxes and then the boxes became architectural. Here is one of the later creations, “Who Laid the Golden Egg?” with a hen enclosed with rooster guards. I’m sorry this photograph was taken through glass at the collector’s house; I apologize for its fuzziness.