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Friday, January 29, 2010

Complaint Department...why my work changes drastically from one session to the next

The front desk of the complaint department of my art store (that imaginary place where I make art)is lined up with watercolor artists in my classes who register the same complaint again and again.....

...your work is never finished in class and when you bring it back, it looks entirely different...Guilty as charged. The reasons why are:

* I work within the framework of abstraction while painting realistic objects
* Time means nothing to me. Sometimes I finish before the end of the session...but that is rare
Paintings can take days to finish, or just a couple of sessions. I have goals, but they are so
flexible. My personal sense of aesthetic is the final judge. There is no checklist.
* I try to postpone the hard edges and dark their harshness cannot be taken away.
I try not to commit too soon, all the while enjoying the painting process

At our last session, each artist was given three pine cones. What a difficult proposition! All that detail! All of that complex rhythm! The goal was to be able to put the form first....the details of the cones secondary. Those who obey realism the most will probably have the most difficult time, as they tend to describe the object by its detail, rather than the larger notion of its form in the composition. Although I have never been a fan of the 1..2..3..method of painting (there is no such thing as three simple steps), I will attempt to describe the progress of the cone painting visually.

The first class session was about 1 1/2 hours painting time. My goals for that beginning session where to lay down a groundwork of wonderful swirling light-valued washes that connected the three forms, while maintaining some sparkling whites. After that was done......and that is a slow process due to the amount of water on the paper and the time needed to dry it up a bit...I began LIGHTLY to describe just a bit of detail in the forms at locations that I have deemed important....all that is worked out ahead of time in preparatory drawings.

I am, and will always be, a toad. Spontaneity does not always equal speediness.