Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Once a Painter, Always a Painter

Old Lyme Autumn, acrylic on Arches 140lb. bright white paper

Popeye said it best, "I y'am what I y'am". I love drawings, and have many beaituful books of drawings that I find so delightful to look at, one favorite in particular is Capturing Nature's Beauty: Three Centuaries of French Landscapes published by the Getty Museum.  Though I love drawing I somehow always end up painting! When I sketch at a museum or on location I can never seem to content myself with a pencil, oh no, it has to be a watercolor pencil or water soluable graphite so I can swoosh a wet brush over the sketch and create a mini painting. Even when I work in markers I prefer the brush tip kind so it's more like painting. If I sketch with a pen I compulsively have to add watercolor on top. In a life drawing class I start out with very good intentions and a conte crayon in my hand but before you know it I'm using charcoal and an alcohol or water wash, a Caran d'Arch water soluable crayon or simply setting up my paints!

Since I've been so busy with the new gallery I haven't been in the studio as much as I would like to be so I thought instead of starting a new large painting I would do some really beautiful monochrome drawings, which I would mat and frame as a complement to my acrylic landscapes. I should have known where things were heading when  I decided to work on watercolor paper with a burnt umber watercolor pencil. I mean who am I kidding really?

I did in fact complete a beautiful pencil drawing, but then I decided that I just had to go in with the wet brush and add some depth and volume. The result was a watercolor that was less than spectacular. There were not enough lights. So in an effort to keep this a drawing I tried using a white pastel pencil but that didn't really adhere well to the areas with heavy color, next I tried a white conte crayon, same problem. While I was pondering that problem I decided that maybe just a little burnt sienna water soluable Caran d'Arch Crayon would warm things up. It did but it did not solve my lack of lights problem.

Then in a flash of inspiration from the Muse I decided to break out the new Golden Fluid Acrylics I recently bought and had never used. Oh. My. Goodness. What fun those were!! (like I need another medium to work in!) So there you have it, a new painting with a checkered past, but a really complex surface and glorious glow.

I'm really excited about this one and believe that I will recreate some of the process and do a few more. And hey, they can still be matted and framed to complement my regular acrylic landscapes, a nice bonus since I have two solo shows scheduled for 2011.

1 comment:

Joan said...

Another beautiful painting, Jan! Thanks for sharing the story of its creation.