Working stream of conscious, Sean McGaughey does not do any preparatory sketches. He does the majority of thinking on the painting surface, and painting over “mistakes” with flat areas of color, but still allowing them to show through. By not fully covering the “mistakes”, the painting becomes a documentation of itself, and the viewers gain insight into the dialogue, which occurred between the artist and the painting.
The paintings are comprised mainly of line drawings done with a brush. The lines begin to overlap, tangle, and weave amongst one another, inviting the viewer inside the painting. The build up of lines show a physical interaction between the people he has drawn, but an emotional disconnect between one another. When there is an emotional interaction, it is usually of an oppressed emotion, presenting itself as a struggle. The seemingly chaotic lines further heighten the oppressed emotion, creating a tension within the picture plain. Decorative elements, or a person transcending the chaos, begin to balance out the tension.