In the beginning there is blank paper which is bright with possibility. My work gets a jump start when I can do some sort of background treatment on the paper. Of the many possibilities (and I'll talk about others later) one involves using watercolor on a handmade watercolor paper, Arches 140 lb. cold press. I select two complimentary colors say ultramarine and burnt sienna. I wet the paper and take a length of Saran Wrap and place it over the wet paper, pushing and creasing it until it seems interesting. Then a round brush is used to drip two colors randomly under the edges of the Saran, tipping and moving the paper so the paint moves over most of the surface of the paper. I let it dry overnight. Next day when the Saran is lifted off, beautiful surprise patterns emerge that will spark my imagination for a new painting.
This is the paper after the Saran has been removed. What do you see? A mountain range, drifted sand on the beach? If it is tipped other directions, new possibilities will pop.
Here is a piece I have begun to develop as a part of my Refugee series. I've added some collage papers and painted background, faces and hands. I'll develop the cloak before I'm finished, but it's a good start!