first "Art Process" post, my process changes a lot from painting to painting.
For "Avalanche," I began with a photo. For "Butterfly Wing," I began with a rejected painting.
So I had this great idea.
My abstract paintings had been getting more disorganized, but also more static. There was no movement in them. You looked at them and -- splat -- your eye didn't move.
I needed a change.
So I decided to create a new series, based on a very ordered shape found in nature, but that was still full of motion: a nautilus.
Nautiluses (nautili??) are deep sea creatures whose shells follow a Fibonacci pattern -- a math sequence that forms a beautiful spiral.
It seemed like the perfect solution to my issue, so I got down to it, pulled out my ruler and created my masterpiece.
 I created one painting that I liked, but later destroyed with too many overzealous top coats. Then I decided to get serious.
 I sketched the nautilus shell, learned how to draw a proper Fibonacci sequence and spiral, and planned some color schemes for the soon-to-be series.
 I carefully mapped the plan out onto a canvas.
 Whoa there! Things were getting a little crazy. More paint would probably help.
When I was done, I had ended up with something way, way more complicated and disorganized than I had set out to do. I had created chaos out of order.
This was disheartening, but there was light at the end of the tunnel.
I actually really liked one corner of the painting.
So I ran with it.
When it was done, it wasn't a nautilus anymore. And it certainly wasn't a neat Fibonacci spiral. But it was something that I liked, that had motion and order and color. And it reminded me of a different, well-organized form in nature: a butterfly's wing.
Have any of you ever used a failure as a stepping stone to something you were proud of? I'd love to hear about it!
P.S. You can find the original "Butterfly Wing" on my Etsy shop or check out prints and iPhone cases at Society6.