Thursday, August 11, 2016

WATERCOLOR???

TO DO WATERCOLOR OR NOT TO DO WATERCOLOR
THAT IS THE QUESTION.....


When I returned to painting in 1987, after many years lay off due to having to "make a living" and raise children, I went back to painting.
When I started painting at around age 10, it was oils. That was the 50's and about the only choice out there. I worked in oils until my 20's when I had to move on with life.

When I returned to my art in '87, a friend of mine talked me into doing watercolors. Oh my, what a challenge that was and I almost gave up a few times, but there were things about the medium I liked so I stayed with it.
These are 3 of my early watercolors



In 1993 I was able to get into my first Art Fair and that started a 15 year period of traveling and selling my art. We loved that time!

I did watercolor for 8 years, but here is the thing:
I was a watercolor PUREST!!.
NOTHING else touched my paper. No pens, no acrylic, no nothing but watercolor! White had to be the white of the paper.
Here is some of my best watercolor work:







This piece is "And on the 7th day" and is very large. 
It hangs in the First Christian Church here in Hot Springs in memory of my parents who were my biggest supporters along with my daughter Shari.
I have prints of this piece.
I look at it and wonder how in the world I did it.

BUT,

I began to get in a rut.

In 1995 we moved from St. Louis to Hot Springs, Ar. and I enrolled in my first college art classes ever at the community college. Except for local classes when I was very young (the oil days), I was completely self-taught, but, like I said, in a rut.

In this class my instructor "gave me permission" to use other media WITH my watercolor!!

WHAT!!!!!

What a concept!! But it was all I needed and the rest is history.
Since that time I have gradually worked my way out of watercolor and into mixed media collage. Mostly Acrylics.

A few years ago, late 1990's, I was heavy into making and teaching handmade paper and so I did a series of watercolors on gessoed handmade paper:




That was kinda fun and different, but not the same....

So, you ask, why is she doing a watercolor now??
Very good question.

I really have no idea why I decide to do this right now, but I did and I kinda enjoyed it....
So all that being said, here is what I have "gleamed" from doing this watercolor:

What did I love about the medium that I had forgotten:

* I love the paint flow

* I can do most of an entire piece with one good #9 round brush

* Nice translucent colors that cover an area fully

* Don't need the entire room to work! (I was reminded that one of the things I loved about doing watercolor is how soothing it is.)

* Easyyyyy clean up

* Paint goes a very long way

What did I miss:

* Opaques. I love opaques

*Spontaneity of the way I work in collage. Lots of nice surprises.

*Easy to change and go in a different direction with a whole different color.

These are just a few.

SO, where am I with this?
Well, IF I do go back to doing some watercolor, I'm not going to limit myself. In this piece I did here, I used some Pitt Pens which is India Ink and some white acrylic dots in the middle of the flower, but I stayed pretty true to watercolor.
I will "give myself permission" to use other media, especially acrylic and inks, where needed. 
And yes....collage papers.
I will not frame behind glass. They will be sealed like I do my pieces now, with acrylic sealer. I have learned how to do that with water soluble paints.

Hmmmm.....it should be interesting to see what happens.

For now I want to do a series of small w/c pieces like this one just to get the "feel" of it again.

Yeah...it was pretty fun :)

stay tuned and thanks for stopping by.
Suzi 


21 comments:

  1. I loved reading this. I'm fascinated by your art and creativity. It's a pity I live in Portugal and you in Arkansas otherwise I assure you I'd go and meet you. I'd love to learn from you. I paint myself, I am also more self-taught than an atelier student. I love painting by myself without anyone around. I have a very small atelier in my own apartment, a room which was may son's, but now is all for me. I'm following all your steps attentively. I might join an online course of yours in September. Thanks for being so sharing and kind.

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    1. Keep plugging away Virginia! I had a student from Portugal in my classes in Minneapolis this year with Art and Soul! Thanks for checking in Virginia.

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  2. I loved reading this. I'm fascinated by your art and creativity. It's a pity I live in Portugal and you in Arkansas otherwise I assure you I'd go and meet you. I'd love to learn from you. I paint myself, I am also more self-taught than an atelier student. I love painting by myself without anyone around. I have a very small atelier in my own apartment, a room which was may son's, but now is all for me. I'm following all your steps attentively. I might join an online course of yours in September. Thanks for being so sharing and kind.

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  3. Ahhhh! Your watercolor style gives me joy and inspiration. I adore it. <3

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    1. Thanks Beth. I'm having fun with it for now :)

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  5. I've been following on Instagram...and had to come look at your blog after seeing your little birdie post today. Such a gift you have! And, Shari. I know she's tickled pink to see what you're doing.

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    1. Thanks so much @bohemiannie!art!! I can always feel Shari in everything I do. She was my biggest fan. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I've been seeing you on instagram and appreciate having you there. Instagram is fairly new to me. Having fun with it. You got a real name??

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  6. Change is good! And discovering a whole new style of your own by mixing new with old is even better. I always feel sorry for artists that are known for a certain "look"; I would think that to be expected to produce always in that style would be stifling. We'll be looking forward to your next step!

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    1. Thanks Marsha. I know what you mean about people who do the same thing over and over and I have known them and they do wonderful work...BUT...yeah, I get bored too easily. I'm really surprised I did w/c for 8 years! I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes too cause I have no idea! LOL!!

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  7. WOW! You love water colors because they are fluid. I am terrified of water colors because they are fluid. Water colors go everywhere. They don't stay put. I guess you could say that I'm a control freak with w/c's Thanks for sharing this! Awesome.

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    1. Watercolor is not for sissies!! LOL!! It is a discipline. I am the same way Carol and had to learn to do watercolor MY way...not the traditional way. It finally worked for me but I had to work at it.

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  8. Beautiful watercolor work. Colors are amazing.
    Barb
    Charlotte, NC

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  9. Great story ... Thank you for sharing! Can't wait to see what you do next!

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  10. Thanks Andi! I can't wait to see either!! LOL!

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  11. Your watercolors are so vibrant! I could never achieve that level of intensity. Bravo!

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    1. Sure you could Sandy! It just takes practice and perseverance. :)

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  12. Beautiful work...I love them all. "And on the seventh day" is Awesome.

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    1. Thanks Gloria! That WAS an undertaking!! But worth it.

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  13. Suzi, I would love to have a little watercolor demo...WC was my first love - and I miss it sometimes. I would enjoy a fresh perspective and a chance to dig out my supplies again!! :)

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