My thought process and journey to a painting

Daisy in a Delft bowl

Creating a painting, the route I take:

I want to share a peek into my head as I create a painting.

I start by staring at the blank canvas on my easel, trying to connect to it, trying to feel it…

At this stage, I want either silence, but mostly rather loud music, the choice of music depends on my mood.

I page through my references, of which I have a stash in printed images, but also tons on my phone.

In this case, I knew I wanted to do something with this hands image I printed months ago but never got to use. 

An image my daughter too of my hands with a painting in mind
An image my daughter took of my hands with a painting I had in mind, but I never got to use it until now.

Just make a start:

I don’t have I idea what I want to do with the rest of the painting but I make my start by using the hands.

I applied the golden rule of placing it on a third of the canvas, usually, I end up starting right in the middle, almost a no-go in art, technically speaking.

I trust the painting to navigate me in a direction from here on as I am not good with planning, neither in my artworks nor in my life!!! 

My hands, now what?
My hands, now what?

Now I sit back and start paging through my phone and my printed images.

I saw this beautiful little sculpture on Pinterest and took a screenshot of her for inspiration a while ago.

As  Picasso  famously said: “Lesser artists borrow; great artists steal”

So I decided to pretend that I am a “great” artist and “stole” this image for my painting from the artist: Michael Pickle De    – Do yourself a favor and check out his work.    

Michael-Pickle.De Sculptures


Sculpture inspired girl
Sculpture inspired girl


As birds keep on popping into my paintings, this theme was almost a natural choice to add. 

Spiced it up with bluebirds
Spiced it up with bluebirds

Except for the fact that I love birds, birds also represents freedom to me. And everyone who really know me, know what a high premium I put on freedom. The cage, always with an open door, strengthen this message.  

I have an inherent urge to grow in all aspects of my life, therefore you will often see images of plants that symbolizes growth in my paintings.  


Although I seldom paint flowers, a client recently asked me to add a little daisy to a waterdrop painting she bought, this little daisy inspired me unconsciously to add the flowers to the narrative. 

Water drops and a daisy
Water drops and a daisy

The little Delft bowl is to enhance the feeling of fragility I tried to convey in this painting. 

Bluebirds, completed
Bluebirds, completed

I do my writing, studying and reading early morning in my bed and as always, our Ginger cat, my loyal companion, accompany me, She is my alarm clock, waking me up at half past 5 each morning by pulling my hair with her mouth, and my accountability partner, making sure that I start working then!   


Ginger cat companion
Ginger cat companion

I hope you enjoyed this post and the little insight into my process? 




















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Welcome to my world. 

All Artwork © Mariaan Kotzé


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