Thursday, January 18, 2007

When to say "enough"

I took a pretty ambitious path when I decided to paint Keith.

And although I could tell my preliminary sketch -- laying in the "bones of the painting" -- wasn't as accurate as I'd like, I went on.

Of course, it was a bold and crazy thing to attempt watercolor -- the first in years.
But Laura's work and my memory of James McMullan's work made me want flowing color.

I may have wanted flowing color, but flowing color was more like color-wrassling.

The inner creative dialogue went something like: "Yikes! Wassat?! No don't flow...argh! Dang it, now what will I do?"

I haven't worked with massed tones and areas in so long, it's like learning a new language -- with all the feeling inept and being unable to communicate that entails.

(My apologies for any formatting distractions on this post. Blogger is limited for page layout and I'm just not ready to move to Typepad yet. You should see the small Keith images above as a cascade, from left to right -- and these larger ones stacked top to bottom.)

Anyway...I reached for a tool I knew better. Or so I thought -- colored pencil on highly-textured watercolor paper is not the same thing as colored pencil on smooth vellum Bristol.

After teetering back and forth between my eye, my mind, and my hand, it was time to say "enough."


Pedro said...

We can see the work going on and on.

Ed Maskevich said...

Looks good to me. You may or may not know but there are colored pencils that will give a watercolor wash effect when a wet brush is used over the pencils. You can also did the pencils into water first and then draw.

Larry Ayers said...

An interesting glimpse into visual artistic process.

Out of my realm, to be sure, but fascinating to see the successive stages.

MjM said...

I know this path well!

Watercolor is a cruel medium! If you are of the "white-of-the-paper-is-all-the-white-you-got" school of thought (and I am), you get one chance at most of the major highlights of a painting. But man, it's such a thrill when you're "on" and things are happening the way you (sorta) intended and then you get those "happy accidents" - pools of irridescent color defining a shape in a way no software, camera, or other coloring implement can - those are the moments to paint for.

That said, nice work!!!

(nuts and bolts will be my very next painting, I swear)


MB said...

Watercolor is a challenging medium. I used to use gouache because it was slightly thicker, but still I found it tough. You are brave and bold, Ms. Lori. And I am impressed.

jarvenpa said...

Ah Lori, you are an inspiration! I used to play with watercolor a bit--it is the most difficult and exciting thing to work with, because it obviously has a mind of its own and flows and changes. I was a very bad painter, but had fun, and that, for me, was worth it.
And I enjoyed Marly's interview with you, and your dim orchids below. So much vibrancy.

Belinha Fernandes said...

You're painting!!:-9

Dave said...

Screw Typepad. I use it for qarttsiluni and it's a pain in the butt. If you want a hosted service, is much cooler - plus it's free. If/when you decide to switch, drop me a line and I'll be happy to show you the ropes.

Oh, and that's a pretty bitchin' painting if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

Isn't watercolor maddening? It DOES have a mind of its own. But, over time, it begins to get a little more comprehensible. I think I'm starting to comprehend it. A little. Your guy looks fab to me---but I know the frustration of using colored pencils on textured papers. We wants our bristol board.

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful IMHO. In fact the whole blog is...just read your interview on Marly's. I'll be back, talented lady.

Willie Baronet said...

Well done! Love seeing your process. :-)