Monday, March 15, 2010

Today is the Ides of March, I'll Paint Tomorrow

"A soothsayer bids you beware the Ides of March" ~ Brutus to Caesar, Act I, Scene II from Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

We arsty types always enjoyed acknowledging the fact that today, March 15th, is the Ides of March.  Thoroughly enjoyed pointing it out.  I don't know why, but anyone I knew who was an artist made a big thing about the Ides.  So there it is, I'm continuing the tradition.  I used to tell this to my sons every year, very cryptically, "Beware the Ides of March."  They'd look at me as if I had two heads.  Was it me?  I don't know.

That said, let's get on with it.

This weekend was horrible, crazy, scary weather.  Saturday saw a nor'easter that seems to be historic now that it's over.  Sunday wasn't great either with rain, thunder, lightening and flooding in areas.  I burrowed in my cave, so to speak.  I spent Sunday photographing some new jewelry I made, a couple of older paintings, and dug up my color charts.  Looking through my work gave me ideas and motivation.  It's good to dig out old stuff every now and then. 

I had put the bagpipe painting on my easel to look at it whenever I came into the studio.  I like to do that with works in progress.  It gives me a feel for where I need to go with a piece.  The light in the studio may be out for good now, but I ignored it, turned on my desk light and did a little work on the painting. 

Each work teaches you something new.  With this painting I learned that the style I'm used to working with in oils may not be the right way to work in watercolors or I need a more durable surface.  Painting as with oils, I kept adding to certain areas with color.  Maybe it's the paint, but I think the paper is wearing on those areas and making little balls of something.  Maybe watercolor is not meant for much reworking?  Am I using too much water?  The paper is Lanaquarelle 140lb cold press and usually fine to work with, but would Arches paper do the same thing?  Answers come with doing so I'm just going to keep working.

Overall, I'm painting, and I like the mood of this piece.  Maybe I should have worked this in oils?  It's possible I will paint it again.  I have another photograph with a different position I could try in the future.  The chiarasciuro, darks and lights, is what I really like and it may be worth another go in another medium.  For now this just needs a little tweaking for me to say I'm done.

Not touching this painting today, though.  It's the Ides of March and important things are better left until another day.


  1. I use Arches 140lb Rough, which can take a fair amount of reworking - 300lb is even better though.
    "Not" paper I have always found doesn't cope with lots of wet in wet and lifting.

  2. Thanks for the info Pat. I'm going to try the Arches paper next.


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