Thursday, January 7, 2010

Week One--One Done

As my readers, you know I set a goal for myself this New Year of finishing one painting a week. I began a traditional watercolor painting on Monday. It has been quite awhile since I painted in that way, so it was slow going at first. I had forgotten how there is often a point in that type of painting that I just feel lost. The vision I had for the painting initially is gone and what I have on the paper doesn't look like much.

I forced myself to just keep at it. I remembered other paintings where I really didn't know where I was or where I was going, but by persistence and working on a bit here a bit there, an image would begin to show through the haze. So I had already done that hard work on Monday.

Then I spent two days in town working with my sister on sorting through my mother's condominium. She had kept amazing financial records, including a household planner, paid bills, as well as her bank statements, check registers and taxes for the last 20 years. Of course, neither of us could see storing all that paperwork for another unknown length of time so we had to decide on what to keep and sort through all of that. And then there is a trunk of letters she kept covering correspondence back into the '50's. Those we are keeping, but we sorted out greeting cards that did not have any message. On top of that, she had many, many photos to take out of frames, not to mention the boxes of unframed. We've only just begun!

But back to my painting, I was very focused on getting out to the studio today as this is the only other full day I have free to paint this week. I certainly did not want to fail at my goal on the first week! So here is the painting that faced me when I got out to the studio.

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At this point, I saw many problems, but also some nice parts. The big problems were the lower right, the large triangle of foliage on the left, and water coming out of rocks in the upper right riffle. At this point I disliked the left-had side of the painting so much, I thought I might just crop it off.

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My next step was to just wash off the bottom of the painting.

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To finish this piece, I abandoned my original idea for the bottom and created two places for the stream to flow around a group of rocks. I used gouache to clean up and soften areas. I added branches to the bottom left, and broke up the left-hand large triangle of foliage with darks.

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Lookout Creek 14 x 20

There is undoubtedly more tweaking to do, but considering my week, I am happy to say I have completed a painting.


Anonymous said...

Good for you, accomplishing your goal for week 1! I is a lovely painting. Are you going to submit it to the 'The Living River' exhibit?

Ruth Armitage said...

Way to go Margaret! I love seeing the work in progress and I think you've come up with a good resolution! Inspiring :)

Unknown said...

What will you do for Brookings? This looks like it could be ready in time... or something else?