Blog / 2024 / Painting Is Just Editing

May 2, 2024

When I think of painting as editing instead of creating, it helps me get out of my own way, because, if I’m not making something new, then the pressure is off. Of course, this means I need something to edit. I need to start getting paint down as quickly as possible so that I can begin to shape what’s there.

Over the years, this race to start editing has made me less-than-careful in the first layers of my paintings, and that doesn’t tend to be an advantage later on in the painting. If my early brushstrokes are especially erratic, I end up paying for it with a longer and more involved editing process.

process of painting a pet portrait of an old dog
painting process

So every time I sit down to make a painting, it feels like there are two of me: the one who only wants to get painting and the one that chooses to be mindful of my future self. And these two versions of me must trust each other.

pet portrait, a happy dog paintng by Lambertville artist Gwenn Seemel
Gwenn Seemel
acrylic on canvas
14 x 11 inches

As the painting progresses, these two versions of me slowly come together. It’s part of why painting always feels a bit like a homecoming.

detail of a dog painting
detail of Kendall

Kendall’s portrait was commissioned by the people who loved her best, and you can hire me to make you custom art too!

Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!


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