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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spider Mums

Got up this morning thinking I'd aggravate myself with watercolor. I had divided the 140lb. cold press paper I bought a few weeks ago weeks ago by tearing it. I like deckled edges. It had been sitting on the bar ever since waiting for what I would consider worthy of such nice paper. Today,I decided not to save it for a special occasion, for who can predict when one would come along? Today could be it for all I knew? But most likely not. The medium is too new to me.

Honey was a little miffed. I set up shop at his spot at the peninsula in the kitchen right where he eats breakfast. But he didn't have to pout for long,for I made a mess of it in a splash. Rinsed the paper off under the faucet and set it aside till I had my coffee. Then I began again.
And again. What you see was my third try.

One thing I have discovered over this year of painting is that I like to go right at it with no preliminary drawing. See I don't care if the subject is recognizable to anyone but me. I want the essence. To me, painting is about paint and color; the subject should be just a place to start. I woke up thinking this and I'm writing it now, but I have not been doing this all year--not with Winter, not with Mice, not with any of the Woods paintings, not with Closet. I've still been drawing, the one medium I wanted to get away from for a while. I'm still holding onto the need to delineate and define the subject. Just paint, no pencils, no pastels, just paint was my plan when I got out of bed.

My paint-on approach to Spider Mums was suggested in an excellent book:
A Passion for Water Color, Painting the Inner Experience by Stefan Draughon. I think I've written about it before, but the book is worth another mention. It's one of the books I keep close.


  1. LOVE THIS!! it took forever to load (blogger glitch)... watercolor and sketches are at the top of my list...

  2. This is a great loose painting and the colours are bright. watercolour can intimidate people because its harder to control the oil or acrylic. Most people love the effect but dont dare try it. Good for you for trying something new. Might i suggest a less dramtic book to start? Jeanne Carbonetti has several books that will make you take a second look on watercolour and how loose can become fun!.

  3. Thanks Chrissy. There is something about water color that keeps me coming back to it.

  4. Melanie thank you for your suggestion. I'll take a look at Carbonetti's books. I like the book I suggested because I like the drama Stefan has achieved. I'm nearsighted. I've only painted in oils and acrylics. I need contrast and strong colors. I need drama. When I was a kid, I did water color topped off with India Ink to get the depth I need.

  5. Your posts make me smile. I am familiar with frustration and trying new things.

    I am a skipper of prelimanary drawings, too--just jump in with paint and hope it lands in the right place.

  6. agreed...the painting without drawing first always looks best to me. This one is really says flowers....just picked

  7. I'm glad someone is smiling Hallie. Sometimes I'm just wondering why the hell did I start up with this painting again.
    When you're not painting, you can think of all the great paintings you could be making. Now, with brush in hand the truth hits hard some days when the paint isn't landing in the right places and you begin to think you've become spastic.

  8. Painting is paint. When I have that brush in my hand I want to just go with it--yet years of drawing creep in and I find myself thinking, I should tighten this up with a line here a line there--and that kind of thinking usually kills the painting. It's taken a year and two months for this dim bulb to light up.