Broken Family: The Process


This process, for this piece, was intensely emotional for me. It was a concept I had considered for months, but lacked time and inspiration to follow through on. During a particularly vulnerable moment in my life I was dragged into a situation with some (former) friends and my life was momentarily derailed.

Regardless of the method by which someone leaves your life, grief is a natural response. My heart was shattered into pieces after the loss of friends I regarded as family, leaving this project even more deeply rooted in my emotions. The below pictures chronical the process by which I created the painting I named Broken Family.

The canvases are 2” squares that create an 8”X16” canvas when hot-glued together. My preferred paint medium is acrylic on oil, which creates stress on the acrylic as both dry. This happens because the acrylic dries within a few moments and the oil can take several weeks to dry. In the case of this painting, it took five weeks to completely dry.

The purpose of this project was to enhance the stress on the individual pieces, so taking those pieces apart was not a gentle process. I made a point to leave the remnants of hot glue and transferred paint around the edges of each piece. When set and sprayed with sealant, the individual pieces were left outside overnight in the Seattle environment. This did not damage the paint as it was already dried and sealed, but led to added texture and the warping of some of the canvases. This was intentional.

When permanently mounted, this piece will be in a black recessed frame (like a shadow box). In order to secure it to the frame, some of the canvas warping will be manipulated so that each piece is secured to the frame. When mounted, each canvas should be ¼” to ½” apart. I chose to head towards this method of mounting (though it is not yet complete) because the individual pieces kept getting knocked off the wall! The stress of potentially losing pieces overwhelmed me and that led to my willingness to manipulate out some of the weathering on the frames of the canvases.

Thus far in my collection, this is the only painting I may forever refuse to part with due to its deep significance to my life. This painting marked an event that informed me of my personal strength and resilience. This painting was the moment I decided to put every spare ounce of energy into living my dreams and becoming a full-time artist.