Monday, September 24, 2012

I take lots of photos. Sometimes they provide me with inspiration for a painting. I cannot find the original photo for these paintings but the photo was taken at Camp Allen (Navasota, Texas) on the road to Lake Coffield with its characteristic tall pines and thick brush. From that photo I did my first watercolor (above) after returning home from taking the class in New Mexico. Then. . .

The second painting is an effort to feel more free with the colors and lines. (Same photo.) I thought it was fine at the time. Then a few days ago I decided I didn't like that painting at all. I washed as much of the paint off as I could, then came back and painted over what was left. This time I was feeling more comfortable with the watercolor and allowed it to drip. Trying to find the unique possibilities of the medium.

What this means is that the second painting above no longer exists. What is now on that same piece of paper is the third one.

Sometimes you just need to know when to wash things off and find a fresh start. But can anything be totally erased? Watercolor can be unforgiving. It stains the paper so that much of the color stays behind. The watercolor paint is mostly transparent and doesn't really cover over (hide) anything. Here's part of its unique challenge: You're still defined by what was once done. You take what you have and do with it what you can. I'm glad I tried.

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