abstract imagination, flora and fauna, Illustrations, watercolor, whimsy

Can you love your own work?

Colorful watercolor abstract

I don’t know why, but I gravitate to this watercolor. I love to see it super big but I think it looks good small also, like a little jewel. There is something about it that is mysterious. I give up on why I’m attracted to it. Maybe it’s whimsical and I think that says it all.

I am offering it in my Society 6 shop.

abstract imagination, collage, watercolor

portrait collage blues

Life is lately about trying to keep your sanity in a crazy world that’s going crazier by the minute. For me, painting watercolors is about keeping my skills together while the world tries to tear us apart in a negative atmosphere. Am I nuts? Nah. I’m pretty normal considering the curveballs I’ve dodged. So I’m taking pieces apart and put them back together hoping to stay on track. Sometimes this is sort of a thereapy. OMG I use a camera, scanner, paints and brushes, glues and tape and anything I fancy to piece together. It’s about ideas, expressions, words. Old school stuff. Well, I guess I’m old and that’s all there is to it. I still have fun with my art and there’s nothing old about that. This piece measures 9″x12″ without frame.

abstract imagination, thoughts behind the work

Wild maxi-color abstract watercolor

I personally don’t like crowded and/or overworked compositions, so that is exactly what I achieved here. ha ha ha. no joke. I was going for a completely different look but things happen. I began with a gorgeous yellow and blue underpainting with tons of white paper. I drew some lines into it reinforcing some of the big shapes I saw. I experimented and applied a pretty good amount of masking fluid to the whole work, protecting the whites. Then came the first color wash. It looked very stark and cut out and pretty confusing. So I did something new and a little odd.

I softened the white areas with similar colored watercolor pencils. It took a very long time because this is not a small painting. I softened each area a piece at a time. Looking at the photo here, it’s pretty hard to tell exactly where these sections are because they are pretty much everywhere.
I loved the look but it still looked cut out so I glazed various sections with soft washes, trying to push back some areas to accentuate others. It didn’t work and the whole think kept popping up like jack-in-the-boxes everywhere. So here we are with no focal point and a big traffic jam. But there is something compelling about it. It’s a mystery of how color can take over.

I had to stop because there is only so much you can repaint a watercolor before it becomes dead and muddy and opaque. I will continue this technique on the next painting but perhaps only do one shape. I think I don’t even want to count how many are here. I keep seeing this piece as a six foot painting. Even then it would need a huge space to live in since it’s such a bully and attention grabber. I would love your feedback on this one.

Here’s a few versions on products:

abstract imagination, mexico

A sun face with very purple swirls

Here is a new watercolor with very intense colors and mood. I did the basics of this piece when I was demonstrating for my class on layer painting in watercolor. The underpainting was done with inks in soft washes and I spread them on the wet paper with my fingers in a swirling motion. When it had dried in the sun is the point at which I gave the face its basic shape., The swirls of motion almost drew themselves. The many layers of dark purples and red are rich MaimiriBlu watercolors from Italy which are my favorites. This is a big painting and a powerful piece.

Here is the piece on Fine Art America.