I started this piece back in October of 2018. When I set out to create this wolf, I never thought it would take on such a long endeavor. From the moment my brush touched the canvas, it quickly became apparent that this piece was going to take some time.
As I painted, I used skills developed doing my pen and ink drawing, painting one small brushstroke at a time, and layering each stroke and each color to create a thick, rich texture.
When it came time to add the paper, I wanted to mimic the brushstrokes using the paper to create the look and texture of fur. To create the fur, I hand cut each individual slip of paper, and one by one, built up the color and texture.
One of the comments I hear the most often with regards to my work, it’s how much patience I must have to work so tediously. The funny thing is, before this wolf, I wouldn’t have thought I had the patience for highly detailed work.
When I was much younger, I always admired people who could put so much detail into their artwork, but when it came to my own work I would be in too much of a hurry to get it finished. Ideas have always crowded my brain, and I could barely get halfway through one piece before chomping at the bit to start another. Somewhere over the years, I managed to develop the discipline to see my work through from start to finish.
I will say that this piece, more than any other, really challenged the limits of patience when it came to cutting and placing the paper and to continually build and layer to get the right consistency of color depth and texture. It wasn’t something I’d set out to do when I first started this piece, but I’ve always worked organically allowing the piece to dictate the direction it goes and what it wants.
While I worked, I started experimenting with different ways of recording the work I do with the goal of better demonstrating my process. I’m pleased to share the first in what will hopefully become a library of videos about my work and my process.https://sabrinaehlert.art/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/img_2023.mov