I told her I'd write a blog on the topic because she got me thinking: how do artists choose their subject matter? For me, it began back in 2001 or so when I got tired of painting realistic watercolors (still life, flowers, animals) and began taking experimental art workshops from teachers who showed me how to exaggerate shapes and work intuitively. I worked up the courage to paint tiny heads on big bodies, and use my imagination instead of trying to paint from photos.
Over the years I've modified my style, adding marbling to my repertoire, but one thing has remained constant: my interest in figures as shapes in a painting. I try to make them overlap and relate to each other...just like people overlap and relate in real life! On the face of it, I'm painting paper dolls for grownups, but it goes deeper than that. I consider the size, shape, and posture of my figures and try provide the bare outlines of a "story" so that when the viewers look at the painting, they can come away with their own interpretation of events. As I work on a painting, a title often comes to mind (often from a song, a poem, or an idiom) based on what the figures are communicating to me. It's a method that has worked well for me, and makes me look forward to creating my next painting.