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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mixed Bag of Disciplines

The watercolor looks okay, but not. It's overdone, pushed to horrible. The cheap paper really cost me. My impatience got the best of me--or the call I got from my kitchen client with another change affected my serenity enough to ruin the session. Probably all were reasons for the failure. And, get this, I think the project was too ambitious, for a novice watercolorist. Doable in acrylics definitely, not in watercolor. The photo of the painting looks a lot better than the original. Maybe putting some space between the doing and the seeing, will make me see something salvageable, but I doubt it. It's time to go on. Get some paper that can hold up to my tendency towards subtractive painting and paint it one more time to get the feel of the stuff. I do like the way that painting looks behind the daisies.

My elevations, on the other hand, were progressing quite nicely, till I got that call from the client. The change, though small, stopped me cold--sent me down to the studio to paint instead. This unfinished drawing will have to do when I see her later this morning. It's GE. Besides, there are still questions to be asked that might affect the styling.

I found a very exciting book on watercolor in my library last night: A Passion for Watercolor,Painting the inner experience, by Stefan Draughon. No Recipes. No techniques encouraged. Just painting. Even though I'm willing to be passionate for watercolor, I'm not particularly passionate for the medium at the moment. I am, however, passionate about paint and the spontaneous approach. With better paper, I'll see how that approach I so stubbornly hold on to works.


  1. Remember that old saying "u get what u pay for'? that rings true w/somethings... i definitely can see your frustration in the piece- not your usual flowing style...btw how many re-do's/adjustments do u let a client have? or is there a certain time limit they have to make adjustments?

  2. I hate when that happens. People don't realize that art, whether expressive or technical, is all about nerves. The slightest thing can affect things radically. One comment can reverberate you to uselessness. I can still hear sneid comments my mother made 30 years ago about my work. Somebody calls in an alteration in an illustration, and the whole world goes on red alert. That said, I think your painting is quite vigorous and exciting. Not that bad at all! Wm

  3. Chrissy, I do two preliminary redesigns to work out the quirks after they see the first space plan. A lot of people don't really know what they want until they see the 1 st floor plan and a few strategic elevations. So I count on doing some redrawing--one or two revisions.

    The painting sucks! I pushed the hell out of it. But it really is the paper not being able to stand up to me and me figuring bad is bad--push it some more--see how far you can't go.

    I posted it because I think its important for want-to-be artists to know the road to success is really lined with failures. You just keep at it and you learn stuff. The truth of this one is that it's overworked.

    I did pick up some better paper on the way home--but not as good as Sadami suggested. -- This watercolor philistine didn't want to spend 18 for one sheet of 300 lb. wt.just to see what that was about. I bought the middle priced oil--140lb cold press Strathmore. Hopefully it's more resistant to my abuse than the 90lb? If not, I have to change my heavy handed ways--that will be the lesson I learn from this failure.

    Thanks William. Kind words. We artists are highly sensitive people-- but actually sensitivity is what makes us artists. We can't win. As kids we weren't thick-skinned to criticisms. I am now--and I'm actually my worst critic. I'm not trashing this. I accept that it's over done. And I might even over do some more? Who says the lights have to be white? I'll think tempra.

    Now my space plans,that's something different. I hate it when, with one glance, clients want to move things around and I have to patiently explain why they can't--if you do this then that happens there, and this won't work blah-blah. Or when I've labored for hours getting everything functioning smoothly and they tell me, "didn't I tell you I have a printer I want built-in?" And: "No, it's not wireless." That's worse then watercolor paper wrinkling. That's what happened at my meeting today. So I'm off to build in a non wireless printer. What joy!

  4. This is a very timely post. I've got a client who considers it her lot in life to keep adding revisions to my work. The job never ends. What a riot, having to be a sensitive dreamy artist with senses fine tuned to perfection, and a cold hard professional always expected to put out the best work you've ever done for each new project. No wonder my brain is so fried. Just remember not to loose your precious sense of humor. \\///\

  5. An absolute necessity! As I sit here one more day drawing that floor plan for the fourth time, something better strike me funny soon. I'm being driven to drink. I keep thinking, "Is it wine time yet?"