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Friday, April 21, 2017

Corner Cupboard

Corner Cupboard   Watercolor   19 x 28
is the resulting work from a "market place challenge" offered up to artists in my class.  While it is always good to paint what you know, it is also good to stretch your boundaries, to be able to see beautiful patterns, shapes and values wherever you go.  As I have already done so very many produce stands,  I went on a photo reference adventure for this challenge  to the local antique mall.  While the dark stern nature of so many antique objects depresses me, I often take a trip there to look around, just because the sights are so very different and stimulating compared to the same-same-sameness and plastic overabundance found in big box stores.  The beauty of many of these older objects has stood the test of time...still functional, still simple, still lovely...with the additional qualities of patina and  imprints of past use.  And, for some reason unbeknownst to even me, I have always been attracted to enamelware, with its chippiness, and small bits of rust. A visual feast!

This work was actually fun to paint, as the cherished whites became the story, and my quick, imperfect strokes reinforced my notion of the subject.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Bully Bunny OR A Preconceived Notion Run Amuck

Bully Bunny   watercolor/relief ink   20 x 10
Rabbits are sweet herbivores, right?  Well...this bunny threw me for a loop.  Most often, I have somewhat of a preconceived notion of the way a work will look upon completion.  Oh, yes, it varies SOMEWHAT.  But, in this case, I was completely surprised as the work twisted and turned and evolved in a completely surprising way.  No predictability here.  The rabbit painting in my brain was a bit more watercolory...more botanical...more realistic.  But at each turn, my personal aesthetic was at odds with the realism of the subject.  The realistic bunny morphed into an Easter Bunny!   While I am not a big fan of the start-over, as the do-overs always seem to follow the same path as the original.  In this case, there were two, yes two, do-overs.  My own sense of correctness was stronger than the realistic representation.

All I can say is SURPRISE!  Yes, bunnies are sweet.  But in this case, this bunny was a bully!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Painting Flowers is the test...

Daisy Tumble   watercolor   7.5 x 9.5
...the ultimate test, for me, in the understanding of bending, twirling and complex forms.  Over the years, I have come to discover what I DO NOT like in floral works:  vases of all kinds (they steal the power); symmetry; perfection; and wall to wall paint.  Therefore, I have come to prefer vignettes, spontaneity, pathways of light (mostly) and pathways of dark, kept to a minimum.  While I am a lover of neutrals, I have to work hard to keep them at bay, so that the mood of the work remains sensual and light...a tall order.  I like complete petals as well as some that remain nondescript.  I like a bit of a hard line somewhere in the work that opposes the organic nature of the blooms.  I am happy with this one.  While I did come in for a second pass and some definition, I do think that I stopped in time.  I never enjoy it when the watercolor police come knocking at my door for having taken a work too far into reality and, as a result, too far removed from imagination.