Yes, this Impressionist Landscape is another watercolor “re – do.”
As I paint, I find it relaxing to realise, Yes we can return to our painting efforts later. Sometimes, much later.
We can change that painting and it can be improved.
Our painting efforts are not, “all flops and failures, and no good!”
I’m sure that this statement will resonate with many readers, many of you who are just beginning your watercolor journeys and are often frustrated.
Take heart. Tuck the painting into a little storage shelf or box.
There is Serenity
There is a peacefulness in knowing that sometime later, you will have the skills.
That in due time, you will have the knowledge to make the required alterations to a painting in order to showcase it to its full potential.
I don’t worry, or stress anymore about adding an image to my now quite large ‘Later’ box file.
I actually find it comforting.
Its my reserve box, full of bits and pieces, that I can select from at will when I want to paint, but not have to start right from scratch.
Later isn’t always procrastination
A secret…. The featured watercolor painting I’ve shown, was originally begun 10 years ago.
When we File our paintings in the “Later” Box we might at first feel guilty. Or frustrated.
But, this is not procrastination.
This is a valuable lesson in persistence, discipline, and self kindness.
So what if you end up with a box with 100 or 500 “later” images.
That only means you have 100 -500 opportunities down the track to try new resolution methods.
Recapturing the Freedom
Many times, those gathered from the “Later” box are the ones that have the vigor, the passion, the freedom we can’t fake in our more recent works.
We can’t manufacture an authentic enthusiasm that doesn’t exist.
We may have been trying, striving too hard. Trying to get a great painting.
Trying to get one that’s “Good Enough.”
Best to take the fresh painting with all its many faults and do just a wee bit of tweaking, altering.
And allow the painting’s fresh youthful vitality & impulsive quirkiness, carry the day.
Perfection or Serenity?
Technical brilliance and perfection should not always be the number #1 goal for our art efforts.
We want the image to have spark, and Life.
And as we know, life isn’t always ‘perfect.’ A painting effort, an artistic expression that reflects Life, gives the viewers something.
By showing an imperfection or two, we allow the viewer to actually feel more at ease. At home.
More calm, more peaceful, more Serene.
When something is pristine, without spot blemish or wrinkle, ‘completely perfect’…. it tends to make many of us feel somewhat on guard.
We instinctively don’t want to do any thing to ‘mar’ that perfection. Nor to somehow ‘mess it up.’
We are not Serene …. in that environment.
Magical Mists watercolor with cobalt teal blue, cobalt violet and Burnt Umber.
This isn’t a “perfect” painting.
But even so, one can become lost within the branches, the textures, the subtle color transitions.
With the thin, lone sapling twisting from the marsh shorelines and the cobalt teal to insinuate sky and water… this is a very soft diffused painting.
Without technical brilliance.
But instead, it does have feeling. It has a sense of magic and serenity that lures us in. That works for me.
Pause when Uncertain
Back to the Featured Painting “Serenity.”
And so, once again, like the previous painting Magnolias this is an older painting.
Not new. Not fresh off the press by any means!
But, because I had been unclear at the time as to exactly what to do to make the improvements – I left it alone.
I put it aside. Into my “Later” box.
Then recently, bringing it out for some alterations and remodeling.
With alot of rinsing, scrubbing and lifting to get the light back, I now feel pleased.
Now it has the emotion I wanted from it.
I feel….. Serenity.
Burnt Umber PBr7 Maimerblue burnt umber, prussian blue, green earth
Cobalt Violet PV49 Daniel Smith
Ultramarine Blue PB29 Daniel Smith
Raw Sienna PBr7 Maimeriblu
- limiting the palette; 3-4 paints really are plenty
- watercolors can still be lifted off, even after 10 years
- many so called failures, are merely efforts that are “just not yet resolved”
- with time, with experience, with dogged persistence, so many things can be resolved
- cobalt violet mixed with ultramarine creates a great shadowy purple
- for me, serenity holds more value than pure technical perfection