Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Yesterday I visited a local day care center and talked with the owner about some possible mural work.
"Layla" 12x9" Acrylic by Jeanne Guerin-Daley

I absolutely love this part of my art! Beginnings. The beginning of a project. Ideas being born. The activity which occupies my brain when a new spark begins to develop. Brainstorming. It's that new landscape which I can begin to plow.  I think it has to be my favorite part of my art-making, when there is a seed of an idea, especially when it is someone else's idea. When a client is excited about that seed, and entrusts me with the development of that seed, it is one of the most thrilling and challenging parts of my job. And I love that! I can work my creative thinking to start something; then often the client will add their bent to it, and the idea will evolve and become something more,...

Please don't get me wrong. I'm no Einstein. Lord, no! I don't care much for numbers! (I am competent enough in dealing with numbers when it comes to paying the bills, etc,.. that is a job I have and can do b/c of necessity. But that doesn't mean that I love numbers!) Not when there are other things in this wonderful world of ours to pay attention to, like trees and sunsets and sunrises and clouds, and flowers and cicadas, and dragonflies [thanks to you, Frank!] and mountainsides and.... oh, sorry. Nature makes me get carried away!

There's something else about "beginnings."
When I make a painting on canvas, or on paper, it is the same way. My favorite part of the painting process is the beginning. I often-times thrash that brush about freely, flipping  my wrist to and fro, depending on the size of it, sometimes letting my entire body move with it, - I almost always stand when I paint -   having fun with the looseness that is an integral part of that "beginning." Later, when the likeness of the object is paramount, then I need to pay more attention to other details and the freedom of that "beginning" is often no longer available to me. Perhaps it is that fleeting time span of "the beginning" that intrigues me so much. All I know is, it is magical. There is a voice in my head that says: "It's just the beginning. You can't mess it up. If you do, you can easily fix it. No harm done!"

Do you have a "beginning" story to share? I would love to discuss this further, with more creative minds.... [please know that this does NOT mean you must be a visual artist to share!]

What is YOUR favorite part of your creative process?

Image: (c) 2011 Jeanne Guerin-Daley


  1. Anonymous9:03 PM

    I would have to say the middle. I can start to see the final project but there is still a bit of mystery to what will come. I feel the project in my hands and I feel the hope and life in what I am making. But the reveal is pretty good too. Seeing the joy on the face of the recipient.

  2. I find the middle to be awesome too... just not the same as that beginning!

  3. Anonymous10:18 PM

    For me it depends on what I'm making. If it's what I consider tedious or meticulous, it is time consuming and it gets done slowly, so then I enjoy the end. The final product. If I am cutting simple shapes out of wood on a bandsaw and painting then, I pretty much enjoy every part of it. I don't enjoy meticulous painting. I prefer to draw. I'm not good in the paint, on the canvas or on the court. I enjoy it all.

  4. I enjoy it all too, but the beginning part is definitely my favorite.

    I have another question: why do people post comments as "Anonymous?" I feel like I'm conversing with a person wearing a mask! Come on, people, come out, come out, wherever you are!

  5. Susan Stefanski9:20 AM

    Hi Jeanne,
    I love beginning a painting and the whole process. I also stand and stand back as often as possible and I do think that helps one be more loose. I have trouble with the endings. Sometimes I know a painting is not there but need to put it aside and come back to determine what a piece needs. I have gone back into paintings much later, sometimes I think they are never done.

  6. My mom (who was a very accomplished oil painter) used to say that many of her paintings were not finished. I think that she was a bit of a perfectionist. (By that I don't mean it in a bad or good way; it simply is what it is.) I find that even once I declare a work is "finished" I often still see things later that might improve it. But I figure, my life on this earth is going to last only so long. In order to start that next one, sometimes we must move on and end the previous one! (Of course, if the artwork is really in fact not resolved to a finished resolution, w can't necessarily rush it. Sometimes it needs to be set aside for awhile.) I guess the bottom line is, being finished is a very individual decision for us artists. Do you agree?


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