Monday, 11 May 2015

Wistful Wisteria : Exciting Washes

"Wistful Wisteria "
Exciting closeup. 
A watercolour breakthrough as I leap into a new way of working with this subject.

 I have been painting Wisteria in my garden and as much as I love the pieces that I have created so far something is wrong. I wasn't happy with the flow or results. They look beautiful but something about them was really niggling me. This morning I worked out what it was. I had fallen into the trap of painting what I "see" rather than painting what I "feel".

I think it is easily done when working from life. You see a gorgeous subject in front of you be it a view or a flower. And you want to tell the story in colour. But in my mind so does every other artist. So my wisteria paintings were bothering me because I was painting almost exactly what I saw. Purple flowers. Even though the previous paintings were created in my loose style the magic didn't seem to be there.

Today I decided to paint from my heart, listening to my instincts and I forgot I was looking directly at purple blooms. I started by covering my paper with a gorgeous wash of a mix of Daniel Smith colours. I refer to my technique as " watercolour sculpting" when I work this way. I gently make watermarks with clean fresh water. Dropping water neatly into a wash in a controlled manner to allow patterns to form. The "blobs" at the top of this piece are the patterns formed by dropping water into my wash from my size 10 sable brush. Once the first wash is dry I can add detail. Please look at the colour in the first wash in the image below. . Quinachridone Gold makes an unexpected appearance to the right of the composition and it positively glows, bringing not only warmth to my painting but a unique outcome. I am under the influence of the cottage walls behind the wisteria that I am looking at but I haven't allowed their form or lines to appear in my painting. Just a hint of their colour.

Wisteria : Work in progress
Joyful colours singing to bring energy and life into this more unusual piece.

There is far more excitement in this piece. Not only to look at,  but by the journey in creating it. Maybe I am the kind of person that always needs to be searching for something new but I am so happy with my work today. Its' been a sheer pleasure to paint because I have made myself paint from the heart and ignore slightly what was right in front of my eyes.

 Close up of the Wisteria painting before further detail was added.

There is a sense of mystery and magic about this new painting and the best part is, this happy feeling will flow into my next work. Leaving my studio on a high is a must for me each day and I honestly cannot wait to get started painting tomorrow.

 Wisteria Falls
Section of the large painting I am working on in my studio 

It is impossible to be bored with this way of working because there is always a new colour or subject or technique to try. And I intend to have fun discovering as many as I can. Bringing them all to life in a truly unique way.


Artist tips of the day?

Don't always be controlled by what you see. Allow your inner artist to emerge and take over at times. Its' way more fun and you could surprise yourself with your results if you do!

And don't get stuck in a rut with using the same colours all the time. Leap into the unknown and try something new!

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