Happy New Year

Kicking off the new year with old rocks. 12×16”

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One More

Tried a sunrise again today. I deliberately tried to overdo it. I tried to make the colors stronger than what I was seeing and didn’t wait for the paper to dry like yesterday.

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Sunrise Again

I tried again this morning. I’m having such difficulty with my paper drying in the cold weather that I waited and waited for an opportunity to proceed to the next step and the sunrise faded. Plein air painters all know not to “chase the light” so I quit. By the time it was dry enough to continue all the colors had changed and the sun was much higher. I contemplated finishing it from memory. The longer I look at an unfinished piece the more it looks finished. I don’t know if that means I’m lazy or just that the moment of inspiration has passed.

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Failing

It sounds like a Disney movie but failing is good. When I chase a sunrise it is always with the expectation of failure. Complete failure. As a fortune cookie once told me: you learn little from success but much from failure. And my failures always look better to me after I’ve had time away from the location. They’re opportunities to learn.

I have a tendency to be too literal sometimes. Watercolor has helped me a lot in my pursuit to let go of that insecurity. The failure helps lead the painting in an unpredictable direction. The unplanned “happy accidents” create new discoveries so the process becomes more of an exploration. It’s wandering around searching for a painting like an Easter egg hunt creating a meandering, hectic path rather than getting on a train heading towards a known, planned destination on a deliberate and efficient path.

I don’t want to be a human camera. I always have a camera in my pocket anyway. Rote copying of the scene just isn’t my primary concern all the time. I want the painting to be something unique and the scene to be the starting point or launching pad to a different level, to someplace I didn’t know existed.

I wish the soft/hard edge of the horizon was switched so the light segment was soft and the dark segment was hard. I’m having trouble with the paper drying slow in the colder weather.

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Sandy Beach

I went to our town beach this morning to paint.


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More Faces

At figure group this morning I tried to continue my work on faces when the pose allowed. These were all 20 minute poses.

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Drawing

At figure drawing group today I thought I’d just focus on drawing and specifically tried to spend most of the time chasing her portrait. There wasn’t much in the pose that had me wanting to use watercolor today.

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Windy

It was very windy this morning. It was blowing the waves right at me. When my glasses were covered with mist I had to quit. Like all windy wavy days I came home with 300 photos of waves that I will never look at again.

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30 Minutes

I had 30 minutes between errands yesterday. It was cloudy, cold and damp. I didn’t have time to wait for the paper to dry between phases.

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Ice

It was so cold the other morning when I painted this the surface became almost all ice. That made it very difficult to control the painting. Next time I’ll increase the vodka content of my water or just try all vodka. I’m at the point where I’m exhausted from trying and am considering just switching to oils until spring thaw.

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