Last blog post I was planning a personal 30×30 challenge and here are the results. The intent was to experiment with watermedia every day, and I did a little of that, but mostly I ended up with studies for things I intend to paint again in a more considered way – those are the suburban landscapes.
The ones that are more experimental are numbers 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, and 19. There is a lot to consider in them about what worked, what didn’t, and why. Experiments are heaps of fun because they are done purely for the experience. If they end up being worth presentation, that is a rare bonus. Usually they suffer from “too muchness”. Too bright, too design-y, too incoherent, too unresolved. However, they are excellent dress rehearsals for do-overs that can take me in a bit of a different direction.
I always struggle with color because I always seem to end up going overboard even though I want to keep the color subtle. #18 and #23 are the closest to the way I want to use color right now. I’m glad that a few got close to the mark!
Number 10 has about the right amount of looseness. That is another difficult target.
There were a couple of do-overs within the 30 because I just couldn’t walk away from a motif when I missed the mark. And the one figure piece because that was the only watermedia I had worked on that day. It was included even though it didn’t really fit with the rest. Even the food court still life has more in common with the landscapes than the figure.
Putting them all together like this really helps in evaluating the individual pieces. I have got to get a wall in the studio fixed up soon so that I can view things side by side in real life!
Tomorrow I am going to start another 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I’ve played along on a couple of these in the past, when another artist has announced a challenge and invited other people to participate. They were both really good experiences that advanced my work, and I’m glad I did them. The last one was in November of 2016, so it was almost a year ago.
So lately I have been in a bit of a rut and thought I would give myself a personal challenge. The parameters are pretty broad – the paintings just need to be watermedia. Watercolor, gouache, acrylic, ink, mixed media, whatever.
To get a little jump start, I’ve prepared some paper and panel supports. I really like starting with a surface that already has some color or marks on it for several reasons:
…I paint more loosely than when I start with a pristine white surface. This is probably related to the blank page paralysis that many people experience.
…a base tone with some texture to it gives me something to react to.
…colored paper for midtones with dark and white chalks is a classic drawing technique and a way of thinking that helps me organize my compositions.
I’m excited to get started. I have some new materials and heaps of ideas to try during the 30 days.
This is another of the little waterfalls surrounded by Japanese maples in the Dallas Arboretum. The trees have started their springtime explosion of color while the sky and background still have their moody and somber winter look. This is an optimistic painting of renewal.
Garden Falls – 6×6 inch oil on panel, $108 plus $10 shipping and handling
Available for purchase through my Daily Paintworks gallery.
This was a warm-up for the plein air session in my last post. The subject was a heuchera that had just come home from the garden center. This variety is called “Champagne”, so I’m going with that for a title. I love the colors in these leaves – they emerge a combination of pale orange and magenta, and age to a subtle green and buff.
Champagne – 6×6 inches, acrylic and gouache on panel SOLD