Laramie Plain

My problem is was this: I hadn’t gessoed my Indian handmade paper, which I often do not do for watercolor, but not only did the paper blister all over the place when I tried to remove unwanted paint, but when I tried to remove the masking fluid I’d used for white places, I rubbed off big nasty white patches. I was going to throw the whole thing out, but then, I thought I’d see if I couldn’t find something in there I liked. This everyday art project involves practice in easing up on judgement.

I ended up cutting the painting in two. I liked all the triangles and shapes in each. Each of these little Everyday paintings teaches me something new, even if it’s what NOT to do. I’ve given myself permission to play with what may be insignificant and even silly art, because my best work has always come out of play, and because right now I can’t seem to focus on much more than healing.

Click on any image to enlarge it.

Paperwhites explode!

In this quick watercolor sketch, done with those Dr. Martin’s watercolors, this time I used a Japanese squirrel brush, which has a floppy mop with a distinctively fine point. I confess that PhotoShop does misrepresent some of these little sketches. Mostly I intensify the color. It’s a lesson to me, to be more bold with color. PhotoShop also teaches me to let go of nature’s palette and impose another on what works otherwise as composition. Here I simply clicked on the Invert option, under the Image >Adjustments >Invert menu.

Paperwhites Emerging

This heavy glossy photopaper I’m painting on is quite fun for watercolors. They can be washed off, easily corrected, the way watercolors usually can’t be. Watercolors are notorious for being difficult to correct, but this paper is almost like a computer screen for its flexibility. Once the watercolor dries, and I’m okay with the results, I spray it with fixative, such as I’d use on a pastel to keep it from smudging, and it’s fixed. Really. I discovered it when I began illustrating What’s In the Woods? and had to paint recognizable nature. Not good at this, I needed an forgiving medium, and voila! Who knew?

I scanned today’s Paperwhites painting on PhotoShop and found that I could run some color plays on it and make some really interesting variations. The original is a 10-inch square–but it wouldn’t fit on my scanner and I like this better anyway.