Saturday, July 4, 2009

But Seriously, Folks (and Some Matchmaking Too)

This is my version of the Watercolor Challenge "Baza Lakes" by BILBOV. It is one of my first real attempts to do a "serious" (i.e., traditional) watercolor, and I really enjoyed learning the different techniques necessary to do the painting. I loved the composition of the photo and the challenges of earth, sky, and sea. (And it also meets Everyday Matters Challenge no. 148 - Draw or paint something soothing.) I am grateful for the challenge, and am forever amazed at the resources made available by artists on the web for artists of all levels. I feel so fortunate to have found such a supportive and wonderful community in the blogosphere and on flickr.

One great non-web resource I used to learn techniques for this painting is a book entitled "Mastering the Art of Watercolor" by Wendy Jelbert and Ian Sidaway. The book contains mostly step-by-step illustrations on how to complete paintings of provided scenes. While I really hate the idea of recreating another artist's painting step-by-step, I love studying how the wonderful paintings in the book were done, and applying the methods myself.

The ink and watercolor sketches that I have been doing seem to have helped me along in the process of learning traditional watercolor. My initial attempt some time ago at the first exercise in the book, the painting of an onion and pear through overlaying colors, was a disaster. This time, I was able to do it without any problem, although again I worked from the photograph and not the steps because I like to think for myself and make my own painting rather than follow along. It is the learning of the techniques that I believe is important.

Finally, if you have been following my blog for any amount of time, you know that I draw people in public and sometimes bemoan the fact that I often only have time for their heads. The result is that I have Moleskines filled with "floating heads".

Well, the other day at a restaurant I decided instead to partake in some matchmaking. They both seemed lonely at their separate tables so I brought them together. It seems they have always been together. Their roots are firmly in the 60's, and their three children have long since grown and moved away. Their life together has been rewarding although they may not admit or recognize it. They have a summer cottage at Baza Lakes, I think.
Ah, the magic of art.

16 comments:

  1. I think you've done a beautitul job trying this particular watercolor technique---It is so well done. However I don't consider this different technique "serious" as that adjective tends to put down all the other techniques as if that work was not to be comsidered as important---they all are-- and Here's To The Differences..........

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  2. When I was re-learning watercolor a couple of years ago I used the same technique - going through step-by-step demonstrations in watercolor books, and I found it incredibly useful. you quickly internalize the techniques and use them automatically. Nice work!

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  3. This is lovely - the sky is wonderful!

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  4. Thanks all. Winna - I certainly didn't mean to insult other techniques. I greatly respect so many ink and watercolor works, including yours and, for example, Nina Johansson's. I will be continuing to use as many techniques as I can learn. Perhaps I should have used the term "traditional" rather than "serious". This work taught me new things so I was excited. I hope, though, that no one takes any offense. I figure that to grow I need to learn traditional methods as well as continue with the ink and washes I love, and use other mediums too.

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  5. A past friend of mine is so fondly remembered for her remarks for me to respond to as we went anyplace...she'd have such a story to tell about why the woman at the next table had lost her tennis game on purpose and was worried she wasn't going to get her payoff and the new car was comming in the next day---etc----so then I'd speak of the man with her and what his predicament was etc---fun times!

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  6. Wow Dan, this is great! I started my blog with the intention of teaching myself color, whether watercolor or some other medium, but I keep getting cold feet. I should consider doing what you've done, and definitely should check this book. It certainly is working for you!

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  7. Love the sky in the first one and, floating heads are better than no heads :)

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  8. I'm also in love with the sky in the first painting...it's that perfect shade of sky blue...gorgeous!

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  9. What a beautiful sky! The I love how you put so much into the horizon :) The greens are great too. Simply a beautiful piece!

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  11. This "Baza Lakes" is lovely and I love your floating heads!

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  12. I found your blog through Myrna's blog comments. I love your ink and w/c sketches. I'd be interested to know what you take with you to restaurants. I always feel so obtrusive and obvious. Your watercolors show that you really have a handle on the medium and love it.

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  13. Great post! As a part-time artist with a full time (non-art) job, I sometimes find myself moving in slow motion from left to right brain when I have only little blocks of time to paint. Reading your post reminds me of the many books sitting on my shelves with step by step demos. What a great way to make the transition.

    Loved your "perfect match" as they are assured of a happily everafter, and they made me smile!

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  14. Thank you all for your wonderful comments. You've all made my week. Joyfulartist, welcome and thanks - I have answered your question at your blog (because I am so long-winded). Connie - you've said it so well! I am also "part-time artist with a full time (non-art) job". At first tapping the right brain was tough, but nurturing it definitely works - my problem now is time. I want to do it all the time! :) And like you have to snatch the time when I can.

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