I'm working on a new painting and I’m loving it.
It's a dance across a giant ballroom in a twirly gown. If there were a crowd, they'd be clapping at the grace and beauty of my execution. I’d probably be wearing a tiara. I know that sounds overly dramatic and well, kind of like I’m a swellhead, but I’m really happy and excited about what I’ve done so far. I’m intoxicated with the joy of a painting that's going well.
I know I risk great exposure here, telling you about it. What if this painting doesn’t work out as it progresses? What if I catch a heel in my skirt and fly a$$ over teakettle, my tiara skittering across the floor, spattering rhinestones in its wake? Oh well, that’s the risk I take. I live for danger, you know.
Recently, I realized that I went down the wrong path with the creek painting. Even before I started it, I had a strong urge to work with watercolor. Yet, I ignored that tug toward watercolor—and that's what started the entire mess.
Let's see if I can describe this. There are times when I approach my next art project from a sensual perspective. I think about the various media (rather than a specific subject) and how I experience each with my senses.
It might be the interplay of a soft brush whispering across paper, sweeping along the magic-magnetic tension of watercolor. Perhaps it is the crunch of a stiff brush dabbing at a canvas bouncing back in response. It could be the purity of transparent color I want, or the opacity of acrylic textured by brush strokes. Thin, thick—or a contrast of both? Do I want color granulating into the mottled crevices of paper? Shall I let the woven canvas shine through, or cover the surface in a thick impasto?
Is it the musty scent of sizing released by watercolor paper when it's wet (the more expensive the sheet, the smellier!), or the scentless sterility of a canvas board? Shall I immerse myself in the medium; spatter ink on my face, smear chalk on my forearms, or just tickle the surface with a delicate drawing?
And so, I realized I had to feed the need to explore again with watercolor. I started a painting of a cyclamen in bloom, (using one of my very special pieces of watercolor paper given to me by my sweet husband). I love the inside-out flowers—like wings fluttering above the leaves. I love the graceful forms, the brilliant color.
It was just what I needed. Ahhh, I feel so much better.