I was describing, out loud, the process of applying paint to canvas. In the process of working to explain it, I found some insights. I use photographs as a synthesis for an image, for the starting place for space in the painting, for color reference, to see what colors would be, where light moves, how it dances across surfaces and into shadow.
Looking at the quality of the light in the photographs, against the quality of the light in the memory I hold for the painting. The images come first from memory, triggered a photograph or a painting that reminds me of an emotion and from that a space in my mind. The photographs are a catalyst, a trigger for line and drawing and a reference for the image, but the image as it evolves loses any touch to those concrete images.
I do, actually dance in front of the canvas, that ecstatic feeling of weight and motion is very much a part of the process. Music, especially acoustic guitar recently, and the application of paint becomes no-thought.
There really is a point, and some of the best passages in a painting come from this, where I get to no-mind, no-thought, just an action of feeling mentally the surface I want to portray and contributing to a motion in the painting knife or brush or airbrush that is just there.
Fascinating stuff to me.