During the whole process of making work I’m taking photos. It gives me a distance from the work, makes the image smaller, more abstract, allowing me to see it as a whole. I moved to a smaller studio a few years ago and struggled to get the distance from the work that I had grown so used to. Looking is such an important part of making work, before, during and after the work is done. It’s easy to forget how vital it is to sit and look at the work while you are making it, sitting staring long enough so that your look becomes true and objective.
But the process of documenting the work as it develops allows for another freedom. I no longer fear losing areas of work that I like but that may not work with the painting at that time. Or stages that I don’t feel bold enough to let painting rest. I tend not to look back over the evolution of photos until I have finished the painting, referring only to the image of the painting in its current state while working. Once done, and enough time has passed the work has its own life, a presence quite independent of me. But the things I learn from looking back at the process of making the work are carried into the next work, and the work after that. There is something so rewarding about sharing that, too.