Remember bikes with banana seats and streamers? “Free-Range” kids roaming the neighborhood? Wheelies and “Look, Ma, no hands!”
Creating “Queen of the Road” transported me back to the summer I got my first real bike. It was all about freedom, fun, letting go and forward motion. The colors were unapologetically feminine and the soundtrack was Queen’s “Bicycle Race.”
I’m often asked about my process. I intentionally create graphic pieces that evoke quick sketches but, upon closer inspection, reveal dense layers of collage, printmaking, acrylic, and pastel. In this piece, I included original prints, vintage photos and sheet music from Queen. I create chaos and energy with all these elements, then unify until I’m left with a single, striking image.
Here is my process:
This print was inspired by my childhood wallpaper. It was out there! After carving the block, I use a gel plate to make monoprints on tissue paper, sheet music, and vintage photos. I’m not hung up on getting perfect prints here. I’m all about creating interesting shapes, color variations, and layers, layers, layers.
More layers! And sketching! Once the prints dry, I go in with linework to highlight areas of interest and get more energy onto the page with quick sketches and mark making.
It took a considerable amount of material to cover this 48″ x 48″ canvas.
Linework Part 2: Details
After I’m satisfied with the collage, I go back in with more linework and sketches.
Main Image Sketch
The prints have dried, the collage is complete, the linework is giving the piece all kinds of pep and spontaneity… now it’s finally time to get the actual drawing on canvas. I use chalk as my guide because, as you will see, this is all about to disappear.
Painting the Negative Space
All that work I did? Yeah, I’m painting over it. I paint transparently so some of the layers can peek through here and there. I will eventually erase all of the chalk that’s helping me find my image and be left with a “drawing” made entirely of the vibrant underpainting.
I finish the paintings in this series with a healthy dose of creative energy in the form of charcoal and pastel sketches. I’ve always loved sketching – and other artists’ sketches. Nothing else quite conveys the hand of the artist at work or the creative process in motion.
Queen of the Road 48″ x 48″ $2,304