Kay Athos generally starts a painting with her mind as much a blank slate as possible. She listens to soft classical music and tires to put all thoughts out of her head, especially thoughts about painting. Whereas some artists have the entire composition planned out in their mind or in a sketch beforehand, Kay has found that this preplanning gets in her way.

Kay likes to begin with nothing but color applied randomly, turns the canvas
and searches for an image -- although the lack of an image can be good, too. She tries to keep it abstract as long as she can. Sometimes Kay succeeds in finishing the painting as a totally nonobjective composition.

But often Kay will see something which suggests a landscape or a figure or
a still life. Then she slows down and tries to keep it a mere suggestion by
painting in, brushing out, and keeping it loose.

When she fails to keep it abstract, Kay may succeed in producing a realistic
work which is appealing without seeming corny or predictable.

This method of working allows Kay to follow her instincts all the way. She
sometimes feels, for no reason, that all her colors are too dark, so she lightens them and lightens some more until she is practically painting vapor. Other times, Kay will combine her colors with black, because they never seem dark enough. It is this ongoing pursuit of an elusive "correct" image which keeps her interested and engaged.

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