It has been a busy few weeks since my last post. Varnish, shellac, paint and ink have all been flying around the apartment as I have been in a whirlwind of artistic creation. The Fruit and Wine painting for the “Feast” show looks great with a coat of varnish. I have tried a new type of varnish, GamVar which I learned about through the website of an artist I admire, Sadie Valeri. She does an excellent job describing its merits, I will simply say that it looks very good, applied very easily and is perfect for oils since it allows the paint to dry underneath. This was a very good find.
The first new painting to be finished is the work below:
Now this boat painting has been lingering around for a long time. It was one of those kind of paintings that I worked on here and there for months. Partially it’s because other projects kept popping up and partially it’s because the painting became a real struggle. Somewhere along the line I really wanted to do a really good job on it and in doing so I tightened up to such a point that the painting suffered. I took everything I love about watercolor: the spontaneity, the looseness, the excitement and I lost it. I grew so concerned with putting down details that my brush got smaller and smaller and the work got stiffer and stiffer.
Yesterday I did my best to fix all of that. I picked up a nice fat brush and attacked this painting and tried to breathe some life back into it. What you see above is the result. I really enjoyed painting the reflection and I think that the looseness down there helps balance the residual stiffness above. I wouldn’t say this is my best work but I will say that this painting taught me a lot about relaxing and enjoying a work or art and not letting the desire to “get it right” take away all the fun.
All and all it was a good experience and a good change to grow.