Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Moving to the Dark Side

"Only One Winner"

I am writing my second book and getting lost in so many wonderful new exciting sections. Last night I could hardly wait for morning to come to work further on an experiment with darks in a new collection of watercolours.

Every professional artist must look back and see moments when they knew they were evolving or turning a corner.This is such a moment. It's almost as though someone has turned a light  on in my head. I want to scream "Eureka" and  yell from the roof tops that I have discovered what I was looking for. And yet I still feel very much like a child in a candy store knowing there is far more to uncover in this incredible medium.

Why am I so excited?

I have been going to exhibitions for years as well as looking at art online and  in doing so have become fascinated in the dark sections of many watercolour paintings. But I have been really unhappy when I work with neat pigment or heavy layers as the colours always without fail seem to appear as very flat. This is why when I demonstrate you will never see me use black shades, for example, for eyes in animals. I always use a variety of vibrant colour to depict a feeling of life.

But now I want a sense of impact, drama and power in certain paintings. Layers of colour alone just weren't giving me what I wanted. I have spent hours playing with colour combinations, weeks and months studying pigment interaction and finally I have a result I am thrilled with.  The technique is arduous, time consuming but so exciting when it all comes together. I am losing the granulation effect at times of certain pigments but the bold result from contrasts is amazing.

I am so enthusiastic about the three paintings that are in my studio this week with amazing dark sections  acting in complete contrast to the gentle soft watercolours I am so often known for. I will be writing well today! I feel so enthused but in my mind I already see where this experiment is leading me.  I am well aware that the successful experiment of tomorrows dreams always far out wieghs the euphorious sensation of todays.

The Horse Racing scene above is entitled " Only One Winner".  I feel this new chapter for my next book could be a winner too! In life as artists we all win each time we pick up a brush. Because the paintings that don't work as we expected them too lead us to the paintings that do. Only by consistently loving what we do can we have days like this and when we do they are so worth the wait!

Happy Painting!



Ruth said...

So interesting to read this commentary on darks. So hard I try to paint as you have in the light filmy mysterious atmospheric type w-c, but innate in my being is to paint realistically so I lean toward sharp contrasts in values therefore I have to make darks as well as lights. Always mix my colors -never using black or white per se. Use a little of W-N neutral tint to make deep dark, but this has to be used sparingly or the dead color results. Mostly I use CS & UB and all the other colors of the painting to make my blacks. The bg for a squirrel I did is done this way. I will put it on my blog right now if you'd like to take a look at my mixed blacks. Would love to know what you think about this approach.
Your paintings are absolutely beautiful. Love all the mystery that you put in them.

jane minter said...

some of paintings were pretty dark back in the spring jean to see these IRL