Thursday, July 31, 2014

Giving New Life to an Older Painting

Almost a year ago I painted the third painting with the "Food Web" theme. I liked parts of it, but felt that overall, it had less strength and certitude than I wanted. Like many "so-so" paintings it ended up in a drawer until this week. Out it came a couple of days ago for a fresh look. I wanted the background to have more oomph. I decided the blue separating the rock said nothing to me. I wanted the whole piece to be more vivid and fun.

I am posting the before and after, so you can take and look and decide if it now has the confidence a painting ought to have. I am also posting the two earlier "Food Web" pieces.

Before, Untitled

After, Before Columbus
22 " by 30"
Transparent Watercolor

Food Web,  18" by 22"

Food Chain, 22" by 15"

Monday, July 28, 2014

Blue Moon Heron II Accepted into Watercolor West Exhibition

I had good news last week regarding Blue Moon Heron II. This transparent watercolor piece was accepted by juror Judy Morris into the 46th Watercolor West International Juried Exhibition. This is my first time being accepted into this exhibition, so I feel especially honored.

So why do I compete? This is a question I ask myself over and over. Today's answer is that it helps me understand my own improvement as an artist. In the past six months, I've had three paintings accepted into National and International shows, one acceptance into a state show, one painting purchased for a college permanent collection, and two paintings in a University exhibition. My interpretation of these accomplishments is that my efforts in the studio continue on an upward climb. I also am gaining more confidence in my own decision-making regarding my art. Always looking for approval from others can lead to stagnant work. For me, forging on in my own experimentation and interpretation brings me greater satisfaction, more fun, and (apparently) greater recognition.
Blue Moon Heron II
Transparent Watercolor, 22 inch by 18 inch

Monday, July 14, 2014

Lifting, Layering and Stamping--Giving New Life to a Static Painting

Last November I painted the version on the right of If Herons Dream. At the time, I was totally enamored by the two herons in the foreground. I also liked the simplicity of the barren areas in back of the birds. Creating this painting was somewhat stressful because it is transparent watercolor plus the method of application is not forgiving of errors. I entered it in a couple of competitions and it was not accepted in either show. So it has been sitting in a drawer for a few months until I pulled it out the other day and looked at it with a fresh eye.

If Herons Dream, After
30 x 22 inches, transparent watercolor
Although I still liked the composition and my subject matter, I realized it was quite static. That is really not my style. I started looking at the painting as a skeleton and my mission became filling it out, sweetening it up, making it move, and putting the MSG stamp on it. Now the upper image no longer lives in reality, only virtually. I'd love to hear what you think of the transformation.