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Part 2: Thoughts on Creating a Collection

Updated: Jul 23, 2023


In my first blog entry on creating a collection, I spoke to you about my trip to Jordan and the impact it made on my art. I was inspired to reflect my impressions of the journey through a collection of oil paintings.

To recap, the first decisions I made concerned quantity and size, and the number of paintings for each site I visited. My next task was to sort through all my photographs, pulling out the ones that stirred my heart and took me back to the emotions of the moment.

Today, I would like to talk about how I began the creative process.

With some specific reference photos in mind together with my memories, I started to establish the color palette. Those of you who are familiar with my painting style know that I augment color quite a bit and tend to have a vivid palette. In order to show off the beauty of Jordan to the best of my artist's vision, I had to put some of my favorite oil colors away for a while. Then I had to learn to mix new colors.

So I spent about two weeks just mixing colors on a big old scrap of canvas, laying color next to color until I came up with my description of desert light, sun bleached antiquities, blue skies laced with sandy haze.

While painting in my color lab, I also started to play with the cold wax to see how its texture might enhance the feeling of stone, sand and cypress. Knowing that I was going to spend a year or more, I took my time. This one decision definitely insured the success of Cradle of Life: The Treasures of Jordan. An aside about time: Through my experience, I found it of critical importance to put on the blinders and focus on my own work. I chose not to enter the annual shows that are usually on my radar. I did not allow myself to be swayed by every 'shiny penny' out their in my art world. The result: I evolved into a better artist with an elevated quality standard.

Pictured are some of my early experiments with the new process. Next time I will go into the prototypes and major paintings.

In case you missed the first blog entry on creating a collection, click here.

View the completed collection at

and watch for my next blog entry.

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