The Alchemy of My Artistic Process

A glimpse behind the curtain

As artists, we often ponder how much of our process we should reveal, in a world where you can find the answers to almost anything instantly, I think there’s something special about leaving aspects of someone’s technique and methods behind curtains.  In a realm where every brushstroke becomes a part of our soul’s tapestry, letting others peek behind the curtain feels like sharing a secret, how we mix colours, how we apply paint, its all unique to every individual. 

I’m also aware that the majority of people maybe don’t care so much about the technical aspects of creating art, take your favourite song for example, unless you’re a musician your probably not interested in what type of guitar it was recorded with.  The only thing that matters is how something resonates and connects with you. 

However, having said this I do want to open my studio door ever so slightly to share some of the processes that create my works. Maybe this will give you a new angle to look at my work. 

The Language of Oils 

Oil painting has always been my solace, accounting for almost all of my work. It’s oil paint that truly speaks my creative language, the richness, texture, depth or colour and vibrancy is unmatched by any other medium in my opinion. Out of all the mediums available, oil painting must be one of the oldest and enduring. There’s something beautiful about using a medium that’s been used by artists since the 7th century. 

Complexity from Simplicity. 

My studio overflows with a spectrum of oil paints, each with its unique voice, However, when it comes to an individual piece, I often find myself using a core set of colours. Colour harmony is a form of discipline, one that I am constantly practicing, its all about finding harmonious dialogue between colours.  Sometimes less is more, serving as a reminder that complexity can emerge from simplicity.  Referring back to my start of this blog about what secrets to share and although my methods of mixing and using colour are certainly nothing groundbreaking, it still remains some of my closely guarded secrets having discovered things from my countless hours of mixing paint.

My Tools: Beyond the Brush 

The application of paint is more than just a brush on a canvas. While brushes and palette knives are staples in my arsenal, I often find improvisation gives surprising results.  Again similar to above, I’ve figured out techniques myself over the past few years from experimenting. Everyone has a signature with the way they move a paint brush. It’s exhilarating to let the medium guide you, to surrender control and watch as something unexpected can unfolds. There’s certainly a physical aspect to my painting method, it reminds me of playing the drums in someways, Ive always imagined the area around my easel as the stage, you find a zone, a rhythm and run with it. 


The Sanctity of the Studio 

My studio is not just a room for the practical side of my process but it’s a space where ideas germinate and bloom. To give you a sense of this, I’ve included photos of the studio’s nooks and crannies: the chaotic beauty of a messy palette, the waiting brushes, and the perpetual cycle of cleaning and preparing for the next creation. It’s the sort of everyday rituals that often goes unnoticed as I’m performing them, but have become an integral to my artistic process. 

Final Thoughts 

As with my paintings, sharing this with you is akin to laying bare small parts of my soul. I hope that in doing so, you gain not just a deeper understanding of my work but a bit more insight into my daily routines in the studio. 

As always, Thank you for reading 


Chris Rivers