Abstract Adventures - Part 1
It's been awhile. You may have read my long post from a few years ago when I plunged into abstract painting. Afterwards, how and what to paint got lost for a bit. That struggle continues even though I've continued to paint over these past years, exploring figure and portrait drawing, gouache, impressionism, figurative and abstract painting. But in all the experimentation, my devotion to watercolor has been resolute.
This fall the opportunity to return to abstract painting arose. Ruth Gilmore Langs offered two 3-day workshops at her beautiful Jumping Water studio on the Huron River. And this time, I was ready to jump into that water to push myself and watercolors. My goal was to loosen up aided by two techniques: pouring watercolor, painting BIG (for me anyway). I also wanted to explore more if watercolor would be a good medium for creating abstracts.
The first painting was done on a 30x20 Arches hot press art board. The first round was to wet an area of the paper and pour a primary color. Then add the next color and the next. This step left a lot of white where the paper hadn't been pre-wetted. This wasn't my intent. But I didn't mind the result.
Never one to leave well enough alone, I decided to glaze in some yellow in one corner. Well then the rest of the painting looked out synch. Another round of pouring seemed needed to pull it back together. Reading more about pouring that night, I realized I should have wet the entire board before pouring. So this time I mixed up several shades of each primary, wet the board, and then tried a controlled pour so that red, blue and yellow would not mix all together and create mud. Hmm, Ruth couldn't watch after pouring the first red. But what the heck, I went for it, adding yellow and tipping and mixing, then the blues. More reds. Tip, blow, guide, pray. Let it rest. Wild, fun, creative. The inner kid turned loose. The inner Buddhist okay if it all went south. The beauty of watercolors having their own little party. And there it was - "Falling" - in love with painting and watercolor and even abstract painting.
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