Posts Tagged ‘130701’

A Transitional Period: It’s Not a Little Thing

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

After having created an abbreviated series of postcard-sized travel paintings, returning to larger-format work when I got back to the studio proved something of a psychological challenge. The quick sketches I’d gotten into the habit of making tended to be just that—quick, minimalistic, and intuitive. Any larger work suddenly seemed intimidating, requiring more careful preparation and more extensive consideration and planning.

I considered switching from watercolor to acrylics, thinking that perhaps the change of approach required by a different medium would help me make the transition. But deep down, I knew that what I really needed to do was to simply do it.

I grabbed a quarter-sheet sized watercolor block, a couple of large brushes, and riffled through a stack of photographs to find several potential subjects. From those I chose an iconic one from Brugge, Belgium, which had been the first stop on our itinerary. Brugge had proved a lovely location to recover from jetlag. Perhaps it would help me make this transition as well.

130701 Brugge Bridge

With a sketch of the scene on the paper, a color harmony in my head, and a brush in my hand, I found the subject leading me into the work. It took me several days to complete.

But, wonder of wonders, I was suddenly back in business!

Although I continue to do quick watercolor sketches on many of my morning excursions, I also spend studio time painting from my new stock of photos, with the intention of developing small series around specific themes. It’s a project that could keep me busy for months…if I can maintain momentum. If I can’t, I may still reconsider that more drastic transition from watercolor to acrylics, to approach it with a fresh mindset and to force a new approach.

What would you like to see? More watercolor? Or a change to acrylics? I’d love to hear from you.