I started from a reference picture that I had taken in the North Carolina mountains. After a very basic sketch getting the steps, trees, and outside edges down, I immediately started to add lots of paint.
Unlike some of my other pieces that have a cleaner aesthetic, and even some that are just as chaotic as this one, I was consistently smudging abstraction and unclear forms into the entirety of this piece, along with indications of eye-like structures.
I got the idea to have a heavy light-dark contrast for this midway in, as I had already made a central swirl at the top. I brought in a lot of bright whites up there, then brought in even more black to the bottom. The goal was to make Mindgarden feel emotionally intense—communicating anxiety at its bottom, with its almost sickly-looking greens and reds, and a spiritual sort of hope near the top with more yellows and pinks.