This year I have photographed the development of my paintings on an almost daily basis. I find these photos interesting to look back on because once a painting is complete, it's easy to forget the stages you've gone through to get there.
During every painting I seem to experience a period where I think it's not working and possibly not even salvageable. Keeping a photographic record reminds me that this is just a hump I need to get over. When I look back at the photos later I can see more objectively how the painting was taking shape.
|Stages of 'Roadside Gum' - Jodi Wiley (Acrylic on canvas)|
The other way I document the work is through keeping a studio journal. I see this as a thinking tool and not as something that needs to look pretty.
I might do rough thumbnail sketches in it but mostly it's words. It helps me clarify my thoughts about the paintings and capture fleeting germs of ideas that might grow into something or might not.
Flicking though the book which I started in August last year it's interesting to see how many times I repeat myself. Which reminded me about this post I wrote a while back about ideas.
The studio journal is a net to catch ideas and a way of working out what I think through writing. Joan Didion apparently said, 'I don't know what I think until I write it down' and I can certainly identify with that.