A Little Romance is a 14x11 oil done from life by Shirley Fachilla.
Painting by intuition sounds so romantic. It implies feeling rather than thinking; passion rather than calculation. Occasionally, I do feel as though I’m painting intuitively. Those are the canvases where the design seems apparent, each brushstroke works, the color is just what I intended, and the whole painting simply flows.
But sometimes, intuition is something else again. These are the pieces where I am quite literally feeling my way. Plein air painting can often be like that, and A Little Romance was like that as well. I painted by light so low that color, even value was done with quite a lot of guesswork (or intuition if you will).
I bet you’re thinking, “gosh, why didn’t you get a light or move to where you could see?” Lighting my canvas would have changed the light on the model, moving would have changed the subject’s pose and the light on her was the very reason I wanted to do the painting. So I painted “intuitively.” I painted what I felt was right.
Robert Genn recently had a letter about creating an atmosphere to promote intuitive painting. I think my low light situation might qualify as the needed distraction in his recipe for painting by intuition… although the music he suggests seems preferable!