Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Process Painting

A good lesson I learned from The Artist's Way was that it's acceptable to go into the studio with no idea what will happen once I get there, if anything.  I used to think I had to have a plan, execute that plan, and end up with a pleasing outcome.  Honestly, I think I set myself up for failure with that thought because I'd end up doing everything else except go to my desk.  In my head I rebelled against it because I just wanted to fool around with the paint, doodle, and do "nothing".  Now I know I'm better off doing "nothing" and maybe I'll come out with "something".  I know, wacky artist in the house!

The thing is when I doodled and did what I thought was nothing, I'd be happier.  It was fun and didn't feel like working.  That's one thing about doing The Artist's Way course is it makes you become aware and steers you towards the process of art which could lead to exciting ideas.  It makes you feel like playing again another day and see what happens next.

I've been playing with watercolors for a while so they're readily available to me.  I love oil painting, but since I cleaned my palette a few years ago I haven't been able to start up again.  I bought a couple of small stretched canvases recently so maybe something will happen with them soon.  For now, it's watercolor.  I just thought I'd see how the paint reacts with different brushes, wet paper or dry, what will happen to the paint when I add one color next to previously applied colors.  Playing with the medium to see how controllable, or not, it is.

Beach at Dusk ©2000 Dora Sislian Themelis
11x14 Watercolor

With no agenda, painting was a pleasure.  I let the watercolors dry and went back to look at what I painted.  When I saw some little idea of a landscape I went in with more paint and pulled out small ideas of the sand, shore and dunes.  I painted beach fencing with small brush strokes and defined the beach a bit. 

It was a good session in the studio.  If I had thought ahead what I was going to do there I might not have felt so comfortable.  Lesson learned: process, play.

1 comment:

  1. That is an important lesson to learn...loving the process. Sometimes it leads you in directions that you couldn't have planned. I like to plan or decide to go in to one idea or another that I can't get out of my head but often in the process of making that idea, some other way shapes it.

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