Sometimes I stop and think what the style of art is that I do because I like to analyze it. I often put on music to paint, and it seems impossible for me to paint without it. Music stirs up the right emotions to let out in order to paint properly. Everyone is different, but to me expressionism is a flow, it is feelings more than thoughts. It starts by hearing a song, letting the tune carry me to a certain feeling and then painting out of it.
I do have ideas in mind beforehand, but often they are a vague image. I can look at other works for inspiration, but mostly for use of color and structure, but I end up doing my own thing in the end anyway, which is good. Who wants the same painting someone else did?
Recently, I had my acrylic pad out, and got frustrated, and mad, and just belted out on paper a quick bunch of lines. Oddly enough, it looked decent and I was once again proven the point that expressionism is good for those who get it.
Let yourself be open to it. Expressionist don’t like to paint with many rules, that ruins the whole process. But it also is not entirely crazy and without order. When I paint, I care very much about stopping. That is the key word. I will make a stroke, or a brush line or shape, and it is knowing then to STOP that matters, and can make a break or painting. I can go too far and ruin it in seconds. It is strategic and thoughtful, but also quick, and spontaneous. You don’t want the flow interrupted for anything. My paintings are mostly fast, and take as little as 20 minutes. I have done some in ten minutes before. The larger it is, the longer it takes. It depends on what look I am going for. If I really have a dramatic concept and want layers, I can spend a lot of time, but it is not all at once.
A few paintings I did like Speak and Full Expression was done by coming back to it several times. There was once painting I did that was blocks of color but I hated how normal it looked so I painted white all over it but it kept fading so I had to keep coming back for the look I wanted.
I can’t speak entirely for other Expressionists, I just know that our minds have strong feelings, strong emotions that want to come out, and need a voice, but that voice ends up being through lines and shapes, and you wish there was more, or some unique tool to express it, so you just use what you can. I use rags, sponges, house hold tools, scraper. The scraper is my best friend and I use it from the beginning.
I am very happy with strange ideas and unique tools other than just a brush. I have used brushes though more recently so I can see what they feel like, I had to get to a point where I understood that in expressionism there is no such thing as perfection. This is not still life, or landscapes, the award goes to those who express the most emotion with the best use of color. Color is representative of the emotions you want displayed. I do have my favorites though. Purple dark blue, and yellow seem to be the ones I gravitate towards the most. I like bright cherry paintings also of pinks, oranges, and blues.
Black is the most powerful color of emotion there is and has to be used exactly right.
White can be used to break up things when too many colors are present.
Hope this helps those who want to understand the process more!