The river was high this morning and I bounced from location to location and nothing was working for me. I really wanted to just accept the loss and go home. My interest in doing this has been waning lately and it’s typically more stressful than just working at home. Maybe I just need a break. After driving around for over an hour I ended up at what is without a doubt my most frequented location.
I really didn’t want to go out painting this morning. I wanted to sleep in. The only reason I went was because I wanted to put black back on my palette. I’ve seen some paintings lately that had that beautiful gray (from black) quality to them and I wanted to play. This one is full of black. I wasn’t interested in the scene so I kept pushing further towards abstraction. I wouldn’t mind if it went further.
acrylic, about 8×12″
And this is a watercolor I started a very long time ago. I finished it up yesterday afternoon. It’s on gessoed paper.
Some great fog this morning.
I set up in the middle of an empty parking lot. A woman pulled in next to me completely blocking my scene. She got out and asked what I was painting. I pointed right at her car and said, “That building over there.” She said it was pretty and walked away. I considered moving and setting up on the other side of her car just so I could finish but there’s some kind of new age church in one of the buildings back there so I figured she was just the beginning of more cars. Time to go home.
Trying to be looser this morning. A lot of artists say that a lot. I’m one of them.
I re-did this one. There are still a couple of minor touches now that I see it on the screen.
Basement Deluge 2, watercolor, 11×15″
Here they are together so you can see the differences. The new one is on the bottom.
There were a couple of things I wanted to change in the first one but since it’s watercolor the only option is to re-do the whole thing. The drawing and composition are a little different, I was more controlled in the second one (and it took longer), I altered the colors a little, eliminated the water leaking into the white bucket, more wall texture… But now I’m not sure which one I prefer.
Cold and windy today. 8x10s are convenient to carry and transport but they’re an awkward size for me sometimes. I like to paint to the edges and smaller panels make it a little harder.
This was my first painting. It started out nice but then got really windy so I wrapped it up ASAP and hiked back into the woods.
This was the second effort. It just wasn’t working. That happens sometimes. So I scraped it off. That’s what you do. As luck would have it I found it infinitely more interesting.
Here’s the scene. If a scene is too pretty sometimes I find it too difficult. It becomes something I’d like to work on for hours over multiple sessions rather than something I just want to sketch down. It becomes a distraction.
Basement Deluge, watercolor, 11×15″
I think I may try this one again. There’s a lot I like about it, but I think it could be better. I’m also considering doing it in acrylic. Not sure yet.
Still working big. I’m trying to fill the entire sheet, edge to edge, like these aren’t sketches. They’re taking longer than I expected.
One of the things I’m liking about working so big is that there are always close up areas that I’m happy with. The elements in the periphery are disappointing to me in my execution, probably because they don’t interest me as elements to begin with. I’m working to downplay them. In acrylic I would scrape them down or sort of blend them out. With watercolor I need to learn how to make them into ambiguous puddles that still support the main idea or focus of the painting. That will push these away from a literal scene and more towards abstract paintings and that’s where I’d like them to go. I’m resisting the urge to just crop them down with scissors!
Nice wobble, huh? Old houses are prone to that
Trying to work bigger and looser. Not great but heading in the right direction I think.