The Creative/Artistic Process Part 3: Journaling


As a teacher of art I try to keep up my artistic craft and the creative process. I am still trying to define what is the creative process.  To assist with this process, I wrote down my thoughts while painting my latest painting. The thoughts are in a free write association and not edited.

How this could be used in the classroom:

  • As students are working on their artwork they could write down their thoughts and reflections on what they are doing.  This way when students were asked how they created their art; they can look back at their journal and describe their artwork.
  • The writing could also be an assistance in writing a formal artist statement.
  • After the student finishes the writing maybe used as a formal assessment piece.

Journal Entry

October 2, 2012

I’m starting my painting.  The canvas is 20” by 20”.  I am going to use a photograph that I took at the Dow Gardens of a mum.  The photograph was taken around 10am on September 30th, 2012.  I am going to use a 2HB beginners pencil to draw the image.  I’m not sure if I will paint it for it is 8:36pm.  I might get started now.

8:44pm:  What was I thinking?  There are so many petals.  REALLY?  What I was I thinking?  I like the photograph, and this will look cool when it’s done.  But dude?  There are so many petals.  Did I mention this is a mum flower?  Just one, they are so tiny.  Ok, I guess.  I will go back to painting.

9:04pm: Ok, there were lots of petals.  I don’t think I have all of the exact middle ones, but I have the main flowers.  I didn’t include the flowers around the main flower.  Middle is also not exactly in the middle.  It’s close but it’s a little bit off.  I think I like the square canvas.  I have never worked with this shape before.  My background is going to be dark and light green (it’s in the original photograph).  The drawing a good start.

October 3, 2012

8:25 Ok, I have all the paint set.  I Took a picture of the drawing.  Now to add cadmium yellow medium with a Grumbacher 8 brush #4722.

10:05pm Ok, there were bunches of more colors that I added after I painted my base coat on it.  Greens, yellow, white, orange.  But it’s late so now more information.  I guess you will just need to guess what colors I used.  I also used a smaller brush for my painting.  That’s all for tonight; it’s late.

October 4th, 2012

8:02 I’m starting early tonight.  I am going to work on the flower picture after I take a picture of it.  I have the base coat on, now to start making it my own. I am mixing white and cadmium yellow.

9:37pm I added a few more coats.  I started not looking at the petals after the third one. That’s it for now.

October 6, 2012

Mum Flower by Christy Berry

5:40am I’m up early and it’s quiet here, so I will paint.  I am starting with petals.

6:51am There are too many petals. I know that the original photograph that I am working from is different from what I am painting.  I am waiting to put the dew drops on the painting until all of the petals are done and the background is done.

5:33pm  The petals are more yellow.  I need to put another coat of yellow on.

7:55pm  I think I am done.  Now, I will just sit and stare at it and then figure out if there is any more paint that is needed.  So this painting took 376 minutes roughly or 6 hours and 16 minutes.  I’m not sure if I am done yet.

Christy Berry Mum Flower painting on the Dow Gardens’ profile picture

So what did I learn overall about the creative process, you might ask.  Well, how I see the world is different than reality.  I added and subtracted a variety of elements from the original image and made one that fits what I perceive when I look at something.  So what makes this creative is that it is different from the original. What I find particularly cool about this finished piece is that the Dow Gardens used my photograph of my painting on their blog and as part of their website.

Christy Berry Mum Flower painting on the Dow Gardens’ website

Enjoy finding your own images to perceive and create.


Mrs. Berry


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. A fan!
    Oct 14, 2012 @ 18:19:43

    Thanks for taking us on a journey from beginning to end. Congratulations on your success!


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