With the exception of this weekend, I’ve been working on this piece every day. I feel no awkwardness painting now. It seems the best way to get over that creative block is to just _____ (insert craft here). Just do it.
I haven’t painted in a while… about 2 months. It’s easy for me to fall out of it at times, but when I get back into it, it’s meant to be.
The last time I painted, I started sketching a new idea. I did it in pencil first and then in watercolor, but the painting felt awkward. I worked through it though, telling myself it was just my ego and it would get easier.
This week, I started over with new, better quality watercolor paper and a refreshed outlook.
“How did I ever stray from you?” I thought, as my brush glided across the paper.
I tackled a great deal of DIY and decorating projects in 2011, and in the process, feel I’ve neglected my true love, watercolor painting. I looked back on the previous post I made about these two paintings, and it was over 2 months ago. This may have been a subconscious decision on my part. Good thing I’ve been busy fulfilling my New Year’s resolution of painting a lot more.
I actually jumped back into these pieces a few days before the New Year, and found myself falling back in love with watercolor. I truly felt like I’d cheated on my mate… for something fulfilling and creative, but not nearly as nurturing or true to my soul. In fact, I think this has even manifested itself into my dreams lately.
I love that in selling my pieces, I can share my art with others and earn money, but I have a much grander idea in mind for my art. However, I want to complete the pieces I’ve started before I build up to this large goal. So, here’s what I have so far:
These pieces are sort of complementary, even though I hadn’t intended on them being part of a series, per se. Meditation has held a more significant role in my life lately, so I found myself yearning to express this. I also have a thing about hands/feet and love to create pieces featuring them. Originally, I intended on only using blue and blue-greens in the mobius piece, but decided to add some actual green in there for more contrast.
This weekend I started a new watercolor painting. The current piece is a redo of the last one I painted back in April. Others gave me positive feedback on that painting, but it didn’t end up as I’d intended. I knew I’d end up recreating it. This time, I changed the palette to include blue-greens (LOL, go figure) and will not be painting through the hand/leg so the blue energy stands out more.
Here are some shots throughout the process so far:
I’m strongly considering using ink to provide some outline and definition to this piece. I’ve been wanting to try a combination of ink and watercolor for a while now, and could see the ink adding something more unique to this piece. I especially think some ink lines could be used for small branches, like for some of these blossoms that are “floating.”
Emulating artists and art forms is cool as an exercise, but not for my own personal creations. I like my paintings to have some uniqueness and be more of a self-expression. In light of this, I don’t want this painting to look like a Sumi-e painting or any other traditional Asian art.
My main motivation for this piece was to have some art in my bedroom. Originally, I planned on painting the flowers in red to coordinate with the colors in my room (chartreuse/light green and red), but it doesn’t seem like they’d still be cherry blossoms if I did that. I will still use some red paint as an accent in this piece, though.
For the background, I’m just layering shades of green at the moment. I think I need to have more variance though and keep it consistent with the direction of light, so the bottom will be painted darker than the top.
I admire the cherry blossoms for their early entrance into spring, their delicate yet strong beauty and their rich, cultural symbolism. Cherry blossoms, or sakura, are celebrated in Japan around this time of year and I’ve chosen to interpret them with watercolor and a mostly wet-in-wet technique. This technique can be unpredictable yet is a great tool for learning to go with the flow, both literally and figuratively. It can also yield pleasant surprises.
I am reminded of the quote, “This too shall pass.” It is a helpful quote to refer to in times of despair or sadness, yet it is true for all things in life… even the moments that fill us with joy, hope and love. Nothing is forever and the only constant in life is change. Combining the wet-in-wet style with the blooms’ symbolism of impermanence remind me to cherish all moments of life, no matter how fleeting, unexpected or challenging they are.
Continuing with my current project, here some more shots of the piece in progress:
I’m still struggling with how I feel of it. I think I’d prefer a different technique in mind with the swirls: wet-in-wet so that they wouldn’t be so bold. Possibly, I will do this piece over in that manner. Otherwise, I’m going with what I’ve started and am working at creating more contrast within the piece.
Criticism and feedback are always welcome!
An update of the piece I started this week:
It’s far from being completed. I plan on adding more embellishment and detail as I continue. Some of this I have planned and some of it is unknown, which is not common for me when I’m painting. Perhaps since I’m outside of my comfort zone with this piece is why I feel less confident about it. My concerns are making sure it’s still a reflection of myself and not… some psychedelic-ish painting. Nonetheless, it will be a useful exercise.
I have been been a mad painter and loving every minute of it. Here are some photos of 3 of the 4 pieces I am working on (the 4th will be coming soon in the future): Continue reading