Archive for July, 2010

Unmasking the Fly Fishing Watercolor, July 8, 2010

July 8, 2010

South Fork, Colorado 1

Southfork 2

Southfork 3

Southfork 4

Southfork 4

I’ve just peeled away all the masking fluid from this piece, and to say I’m excited about what has come to light is an understatement.  I have finally learned how to draw with masking fluid, indeed even to paint with masking fluid.  For years all I had to show from masking was blobs of white on the paper that had to be “doctored.”  Now I pause, because I’m not sure exactly how to render all these white areas.  But I’ll figure out something.

Fly Fishing poured watercolor, July 8, 2010

July 8, 2010

South Fork Flyfishing 2

My studio time has been interrupted daily, but I think that is turning out to be a good thing.  This is a poured watercolor, and I have to walk away from it when it gets all wet and soupy.  It takes a long time for the puddles of watercolor to set and dry, and then I return and glaze over them, and then walk away again.  I think the interruptions have been good.

I like reading of how Andrew Wyeth took months and months to complete a single painting, because he required plenty of “composting” time to look at the composition from different angles and on different days.  It took him a long time to decide whether to go on or sign the painting and leave it.  This is what is happening with this one–I’m looking at it daily, and deciding where to go next with it.  It helps also that I have three other large paintings in progress; sometimes I just work on one of the others, and it also comes with its own set of problems, perspectives, decisions, etc.  So, in this instance, the daily interruptions of business and errands are a good thing–they are helping keep these new paintings fresh.

This particular piece I am truly getting lost in, and enjoying the experience.  Pouring, salting, scraping, dabbing with tissue–all of those instances are proving to be fun to watch.  And then there’s the brush work, the pencil work, the water-soluble graphite pencils, watercolor pencils and all the other wonderful paraphernalia that is sold to watercolor enthusiasts.  And infinite thanks goes to my Eureka Springs Plein Air students of last month who introduced me to the masquepen!  Wow!  All these years I have wrestled (and often lost) with those darned bottles of Art Masking Fluid!  Now I find a masking solution that is applied as if with a pen nib.  What a wonderful tool!

Well, I have to go to a gallery now and submit work for a show Saturday night.  But I will be back, with enthusiasm.

Thanks for reading.

New Poured Fly Fishing composition begun, July 6, 2010

July 6, 2010

South Fork Flyfishing

Got a new one underway last night.  I’m pouring this one.  So far, I like what’s happening.  Ultramarine, Cadmium Yellow, Winsor Blue and Winsor Lemon are creating some interesting variations.  Occasionally the Alizarin Crimson also adds some punch.  Would love to finish it, but I have an appointment to go fly fishing this afternoon!  Already packed and ready.  More later.

Thanks for reading.

Silver Dollar Tavern (in progress), 4th of July, 2010

July 4, 2010

Silver Dollar Tavern

I’m excited to re-enter the studio at last.  The long hiatus can be best explained by a conference at Lake Tahoe, California, followed by travel weariness and the need to clean my studio.  Finally I have my energy back and a place to work.

While cleaning the studio, I came across a large watercolor I had begun about 5-7 years ago and abandoned, then forgot about completely.  I almost threw it away, but after looking at it over the past several days, decided that I could rescue what was earlier considered a botched attempt.

Last night I added the guitar player (myself), the GMC pickup (that appears in another watercolor of mine titled “Brian Plays the Blues”), and signage from some abandoned sites in New Mexico I photographed on a road trip three summers ago.  I think these props have greatly improved the overall composition of this piece.

This is much larger than I’ve grown accustomed to creating (about 22 x 14″).  I’m getting lost in the detail, but loving it.

The setting is what’s left of the Silver Dollar Tavern, a road house that my father frequented before he entered the Korean conflict.  It is located along old U. S. Highway 61 (the Blues route, hence the guitar player recently added) in the small town Old Appleton.  The place has great memories for my father–a bar on the ground floor and dance hall on the second.  It has memories for me as well.  Before Interstate 55 was created, we had to travel the winding Route 61 to visit my grandparents in rural Jackson, Missouri.  From St. Louis, the trip was 2 1/2 hours and dreary for me as a child, save for some of these relics that would catch my eye along the roadside.  Once I-55 was in place, an hour was cut off our travel time, so we no longer had to fret about weary two-lane travel.  Many decades later, I returned to old Route 61 and took quite a few photographs.  Finally I am getting around to painting some of these abandoned sites.

Thanks for reading.