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!
Last November I did a daily plein air project, going to the Arboretum every day. One day the place was full of containers of the most brilliant chrysanthemums. This piece captures some of that clear autumn light and the fiery color of the flowers. It is painted in gouache, which is a kind of opaque watercolor and a favorite medium of mine. The completed painting was waxed for protection, which means that this gouache can be framed without glass like an oil or acrylic painting.
Fall Chrysanthemums – 5×7 inch gouache on panel, $105 plus $10 shipping and handling.
Available for sale through my Daily Paintworks gallery – click here to purchase.
I don’t think it’s necessary to travel to spectacular locations for Plein Air subjects, but if I happen to be where the scenery is grand, I’m sure going to paint it. These are some well-known landmarks from Big Bend.