Good question. Much of the creative process, for me, is intuitive and/or emotional; I feel drawn to certain subjects and mediums. I started out painting with watercolor and thought I would NEVER try another paint medium. Famous last words. I now paint with oil and acrylic as well and I have even expanded into fused glass (lots of BRIGHT color).
Some of my favorite things to paint are flowers, birds, landscapes, repeating patterns and repeating patterns…get it? I also enjoy unusual subjects such as my feet clad in hiking boots overlooking a beautiful mountain scene. The most unusual subject that I painted was potatoes that had started to sprout in my cabinet! No kidding…I opened the cabinet and saw the potatoes with the lonnnnng sprouts (I hadn’t made anything with potatoes recently) and they looked like little arms outstretched in excitement. I couldn’t turn away. I took a picture and before you knew it, it was a painting. I also enjoy painting aerial views of landscapes; they look like abstract paintings on their own.
This is how the creative process starts with me. I get an idea in my head of what to paint. I have to put it down on canvas or paper or else it will niggle (is this a word?) at me until I do. I start by looking for resources of the subject or that are close to it, i.e. photos, magazine images, etc. After looking at several resources, I do a sketch and work on the composition and placement of the subject(s) (I never copy the images because they are protected by copyright laws). This can take some time, it is like a puzzle. When I am satisfied with the composition, I draw it on the paper or canvas making changes as I go. Once this part is completed I block in the colors and then work on the details. The last thing that I do is ask my art friends and husband what they think of the piece. I appreciate the honest feedback that I get from them. It is a group effort.
I feel blessed that I am able to be creative. I came to it later and being able to create art has given me a new experience of life. I feel more connected to the world around me. It is a gift that I never tire of.