Artist Irina Sigalovsky shares a magical selection of narrative watercolor and mixed media paintings. See more of her portfolio on her website.
I would like to share my painting process with you even though I am still trying to figure it out myself. I realize, of course, that it is a journey that never ends.
Most of the time, I begin my work with wet stains of ink or watercolor on paper. Then I let the color flow where it wants to go, sometimes tilting or gently blowing at the fluid. I quite enjoy watching how different colors interact with each other in the liquid medium. The paint is absorbed by the paper in unpredictable and surprising ways.
I then administer the Rorschach test to myself and look inside my mind for associations. I like the painting to lead me where it wants to go and keep my mind open to the possibilities.
Very often it goes to some magical place in my mind that was probably created after reading too many fairy tales with gorgeous illustrations when I was a child. I never lost my love of beautifully illustrated fairy tales.
As I work on the painting, I oscillate between this very intuitive mode and a rational mode when I think logically about composition, value, balance and color. In the end, however, intuition always wins.
I think a lot about what the painting is about, what story it is trying to tell and what emotions it conveys. I also think about the right time to stop. Occasionally it’s obvious, but mostly it’s a gamble.
Finally, I have fun with the title. Sometimes I know exactly what I want to name the work and sometimes I ask other people. Social media is great for that.
Of course, asking other people about how they would name a painting is akin to polling them on their psychological associations. It’s always wonderful and delightful to see how various people come up with quite different, sometimes even opposite, interpretations of what’s on the paper.
The fact that painting is a journey is precious to me; I love all the unexpected turns, bows and elbows that happen on the way. I love the occasional accident with paint—loss of control and not knowing where I am going. And I even love mental blocks because I know that I can overcome them if I let things be and have patience.
Artist Irina Sigalovsky invites you to follow her on Instagram.