Did I mention I dabble a little in poetry? Warning: I am an amateur poet. In order to get ideas flowing, I usually write a poem or two to determine what I wish to communicate in my next piece. Doodles, sketches and photos are also included in the brainstorming process, but writing out my thoughts is usually the first initial step.

There is a cottage 
In a wood 
That has gone unused 
Some who would venture 
And use 
The walls, roof, and floors 
As shelter 
Will uncover 
An existing wound 
No fire will catch 
The fireplace 
The throat 
Is stripped, swollen 
Never to warm 
A man's face 
It may be the driest day 
Of the driest year 
But no spark shall light 
For the cottage is tired 
She has endured 
Her final fight 
She has been abandoned 
Left hallow 
There has never been love 
Never a presence 
To care 
A self-served sentence 
A blanketed figure 
With passive pain 
The cottage in the wood 
Holds all 
Even herself 
To blame

The ink sketch is a doodle I did during the planning process of Cottage. The image of the skyline is a photo I took in search for inspiration for the final piece. While I like to pull from the web (or simply my imagination) to define my figures, I like to work from photographs of landscapes that I have personally experienced. This particular image was taken in the driveway of my aunt and uncle's garage. A great amount of my youth was spent in the forest surrounding my aunt and uncle's home, so my art tends to reflect and use that location's imagery quite a bit!

Song Choice: Red Earth & Pouring Rain - Bear's Den
(While enjoy listening to music while I work, I do find burning a scented candle helps my focus too. When I experience difficulty concentrating, staying engaged, or sitting still for long periods of time, I try and keep as many senses engaged as possible: play music, burn a candle, and have a coffee to take sips from)

The final image I should probably share is of my completed work. The painting Cottage was started in 2017. I began the painting but became lost on how to finish it. Only this year did I wrap it up and finish the painting. Sometimes making art is like that. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to not walk away from a painting until it is finished. Of course breaks are acceptable, I'm not a complete lunatic, nor can I complete a painting in fifty hours straight. But, I do have a hard time moving on to a new work without completing the last. BUT, I force myself to do so! If not, I would never get anything done.