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My Process

artwork in progress by Judith Monroe - Bittersweet 1
The first step in the creative process is choosing images and working out the basic composition for the piece.

The search for meaning is part of the human condition. We want to know why we are here, what we are supposed to do; we want to know that our life has meaning. We look for meaning in the things we do, in the world around us, and in art. I, too, have been looking for meaning in the landscape and in natural artifacts and have found myself creating a personal symbology for my faith. I take photographs of these views and artifacts and transfer the images with acrylic medium onto panels with multiple layers of paint, pencil, wax pastel, ephemera and pressed leaves or feathers or whatever seems right to convey a sense of the depth of the spiritual world.  Inspired by the ideas of life, death, transformation and the afterlife, some of my symbols come from Judeo-Christian literature, some are derived from other traditions, all are meant to be shared regardless of one’s spiritual beliefs. This is an ongoing journey for me, continually looking at vistas, picking up objects that speak to me and stopping to listen, then passing the message along.

Artwork in progress by Judith Monroe - Bittersweet 2
The next step involves laying down background collage and transferring photos onto the panel with acrylic medium.
Artwork in progress by Judith Monroe - Bittersweet 3
This is the point where color begins to be added to the image, first working details with color pencils.
Artwork in progress by Judith Monroe - Bittersweet 4
Finally the painting begins, adding layers of acrylic paints to create depth while maintaining the details of the original images.
Artworks in progress by Judith Monroe - Bittersweet 5
There are usually several artworks on the work table at the same time, allowing for more to get accomplished while the various layers are drying. Often more collage is added, as well as more texture and wax pastels.
Bittersweet - Mixed media artwork by Judith Monroe
The finished artwork – Bittersweet, photo transfers, ephemera, color pencil, acrylic, wax pastel & dried pressed flower on cradled wood panel. (8×8″)