Painting Stages – from YIKES to YES :) My Biggest Painting So Far

Every time I create a painting, I re-teach myself how to paint… It’s true. Call it lack of memory or constantly re-inventing, but each painting is a new experience that requires an open heart and mind.

And each painting (especially the larger ones) also brings predictable stages and feelings. Within the creation of a painting there are several stages of excitement and possibility, several stages of pure adoration and bliss, and there is even a stage of “how am I going to DO THIS???” It’s this latter stage that scares me, and I often have to say to myself “I’ve done this over 800 times, I can do it again, just hang on…”

Elizabeth Gilbert, in her awesome book Big Magic, talks about this ~ and I was SO excited to hear it (audiobook while painting, of course). Liz talks about how important it is to recognize the stages (“Oh that’s right, this is the stage where I begin to think I will never finish this piece, I suck, and someday everyone will realize that I don’t know what I’m doing…”) and to just go with the stages, let them flow and KEEP MOVING FORWARD.

The amazing thing? When I keep moving forward, I AM always able to pull through to the other side, and end up LOVING my painting. I can actually FEEL the change, it is palpable: the moment I cross over from “YIKES, what am I doing?” to “ah YES, here we are.”.

A phrase I use to keep myself positive as I work through the jungle of paint blobs and skin tones, strands of hair and masses of messy paintbrushes is: “Love & Layers”. And this phrase gets me through because every painting really just needs LOVE & LAYERS. And lots of TIME

I’ve just recently hit the sweet spot with my largest painting so far ~ she is 5×5 feet. Still a fair amount of work (and layers!) to do, but I’ve passed that “I don’t know what I’m doing” stage, and that is a lovely feeling.

Here are some photos for you. Please note: bad photography courtesy of my sons and inappropriate lighting

Largest Blank Canvas my Studio Has Ever Seen:

painting, Katie m. Berggren

Painting in Process, right before the “Oh Yikes” stage:

painting, Katie m. Berggren

Painting during the “Yikes What Am I Doing?” stage:

painting, Katie m. Berggren

Painting after passing the “Yikes What Am I Doing?” stage:

painting, Katie m. Berggren

My biggest painting so far (5×5 feet), and my smallest painting so far (4×4 inches):

biggest and littlest paintings by Katie m. Berggren


Since the Everyday Connection Collection has completed, I have been focusing on my client’s paintings each week, really giving them my all, and not worrying about creating a new mini piece to share with the public.

I have some really awesome one-of-a-kind original paintings that are available in the Online Studio Shop, though, here are a few of my VERY favorites!! And for a limited time they come with a MATCHING PENDANT FREE!

Sunshine On My Shoulders, original one of a kind 12x12" painting on canvas by Katie m. Berggren

Awake, 8x8 original painting on canvas by Katie m. Berggren

Unending, brand new 8x8" painting by Katie m. Berggren,

No Hurry No Worry, with free pendant, by Katie m. Berggren

~~~~~ ALSO, I’ve only got about 19 2017 Calendars left and I’m not sure if I’ll reorder more…~~~~~~~

2017 Motherhood Blessing Calendar from Katie m. Berggren

Thank you for everything, have a WONDERFUL day. Wanna chat live on Facebook? I’ll see you there.

Love & Sincerely, Katie


Related Images:

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