My Blog List

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Day Playing in Water

A full day playing in water--laundry, painting with acrylics, painting with watercolors, washing up after both--is rough on your hands, but exhilarating for your soul--particularly the painting. The most fun, of course, was the challenge of watercolor I've taken on seriously again.

The cover of Bazaar's March 2011 issue was my inspiration for this draw-free, wet into wet painting. The strong contrast of the black and white panda costume, the model in the nude colored dress and the orange and red with a touch of green background was attractive. I think the painting came out alright--better than Sunday's. The colors are more vibrant. They're the tube colors I picked up Sunday afternoon after my first get serious painting, Spider Mums, where I used the pad set from the supermarket. I felt better about that painting last night after I read never to expect to make a strong painting with watercolors. Strong painting is one of my attributes, so weaker coloration will get some some getting used to--unless along the way I decide to throw in some India ink as I did as a kid.

Wet into wet satisfies my need for spontaneity and colors running into colors, but I learned with Panda that there is definitely a time to let dry. I'm not exactly sure when that is ye. I've concluded the drying time varies with each painting pending the results I'm after. Doesn't take a genius. No formulas here. Each day a new rediscovery. Plod on is all.

In my acrylic session I concentrated on the left-hand lower corner of
Fall Woods., I'm back to the inch by inch approach here. Wet into wet was the totally wrong turn to take with this one if it's to be part of the quad-tyck. Being freshest in the AM, acrylics is perfect for that time slot. Standing, painting and dancing, though exhilarating, is physically exhausting. I like to go into it with all I've got. I get to sit with watercolors.

Acrylics in the morning, watercolors in the afternoon with exercise in between was a very full day. One that I enjoyed. As I was cleaning up, I was still involved with the two different approaches--particularly watercolor. while shampooing and reshaping the brushes, a thought popped into my head that I had never seen any of the women in the watercolor class I sat in on use a spray bottle. Now why was that? My spray bottle is a valuable piece of equipment with both acrylics and watercolors I thought as I refilled it. How come those watercolorists were never re-dampening their paper? There's an order to this watercolor business that I'm not aware of yet--yet the spray bottle had worked nicely for me... Oh well, a couple hundred paintings more and I'll get it. Off went the lights and off was I to dinner: broiled salmon/mustard sauce, acorn squash and asparagus, health food, nowhere near as yummy as the Good and Plenty I polished off over the weekend.


  1. For some reason I've missed some of your posts. Thanks for the mention several posts back. I enjoyed the before and after drawings--nice and architecty. I have drawings like that too, but the gardens never turn out the way I draw them. And the tree problem over the drainage systems issue is hilarious. Let's just say I should have had my head examined, some of the brilliant tree placements around here.

    Congratulations on getting a little work in there. Kind of helps to light the old fuse doesn't it? That and the exercise. Thanks for the pep talk. I get it. Time to move my mass.

    One thing you mentioned reverberates. "Employing construction type materials excites me..." I'm beginning to really admire the idea of not using "art" materials. Or at least to let them leak onto the scene sparingly. I've begun to collect some crazy stuff that could end up art. Interesting comment!

    I admire watercolors from afar. In my mind it's magic. Good luck. I could never get past the wrinkly paper thing. I don't care what color I'm using, it all goes red, and I get indignant.

    I've also been admiring your energy--thanks so much for sharing all this--you are such an inspiration.


  2. Bill you're an inspiration too. It's so nice to have met someone who is working in an art field very closely related to, but not exactly fine arts. My design/build work is no doubt served by my fine arts training, but it's really not very close to that elite circle--other than I studied sculpture (a fancy word for construction if you ask me) that involved balance and making arty looking things stand up for real. Sol Lewit's work interested me--installation type art--the stuff that takes up whole galleries and the public stands around going what the hell is that?

    This watercolor thing is just out of curiosity. The medium's a bit too pale for me, and the paper issue is annoying--flimsy. But it's not a lot of trouble setting up, and approaching it with drawing-in being verboten, I may be able to shake my love for details that I brought along from the design where details must be noted and attended to?

    I think your painting is beautiful. Though I copied your post for the process info, I doubt I will attempt such a project. I no longer feel like I have time to really get serious about art. I missed that boat years ago. But I am serious about making it a daily part of life. It used to be fun and when I shake all the junk I've been fed over the years it will be fun again. Kathrine Cartwright's blog was interesting concerning adversity and art. I think perfectionism is the adversity--and that's what drives a lot of artists/designer. Get rid of that and the joy of it will be left and we'll be nicer people.

    Get some saws, clamps, balsa wood and give it a go--but don't do it around any smoke detectors. You'll set them off.

  3. Love these- You are brave to paint without a drawing! Love the strong colors, too!

  4. Thanks Sheryl. I'm not so brave--I think there are subjects that call for preliminary drawing and subjects that don't. Flowers certainly don't, but I probably should have drawn in the female figure in Panda. I'm enjoying feeling my way with this medium.

  5. Like William, I admire your energy. I also like the panda with nude at the top--black&white vs. color aspect is interesting.

  6. The black and white Panda is exactly what made the mag cover eye-catching Hallie. Ordinarily, I paint from my own photographs. This and today's blog post featured drawing from an ad in the same mag are really exceptions. But both presented watercolor challenges I wanted to investigate. I have no doubt that I will not end up a watercolorist. I will stick with my acrylics. Watercolor seems like a good preliminary sketching medium --better than the markers. So I'm trying it out.