Good days, bad days….

As with life, some days are good and some are not so good…and so it is with my efforts to improve my watercolour skills!!

As ever I started my session with my 3 washes (as per Jean Haines teachings..)

imageimageApart from the Violet in the top wash all the rest are Daniel Smith watercolours. Along with the Violet I used Mayan Blue to create a quiet, calm wash. The bottom left wash is Rich Green Gold combined with Cascade Green and cling film effects, whilst the remaining wash is Indigo and Perinone Orange (which didn’t combine at all well) …and the ever troublesome salt. I dropped water on top of the salt which really pushed the pigment aside…

I then decided to paint on top off one of the washes I created yesterday…

imageand initially it went well….

imageI could see flowers emerging….

imageand here, I think, the trouble started. My flower shapes became confused between sweet peas and tulips…..that will teach me to paint with no subject in front of me. I also think I was too tentative with my colour, only going in with pale washes and lots of water…. I then thought, blow it, go in bold and…..

imageBy this stage I had used so much water in so many layers that I was ruining the surface of the rough watercolour paper…. I have therefore put this attempt to one side; maybe I will look again tomorrow and see if anything can be salvaged.

Needing to finish the day on a good note I returned to the rose washes I had started…

imageI added the smallest details….which, unless you look closely, you probably won’t notice… but I realised I was ‘fiddling’ and in danger of losing the freshness of the initial wash so I …..put my paint brushes down….

imageimageEven if these don’t immediately scream ‘roses’, I am quite happy with my efforts…and feel I have a good idea where to start tomorrow!

I no longer feel so downhearted when my attempts don’t work because I now realise that good or bad, I am learning all the time…and that can only be a good thing!!


4 thoughts on “Good days, bad days….

    1. Thx Mari! As with most of us I am my own harshest critic! You know what it’s like when you have a mental image of what you want to create and the reality doesn’t meet with your expectations!! Will look at these again next week!

  1. Its great that you are continuing to work on Jean’s methods and develop them for yourself Carolyn. I was very interested to read how your graduation left you unclear what your own identity as an artist is. Do you ever get together with a couple of other artists and share some studio time together… just cracking on and having a chat now and then? Sometimes other people can find things in your work which don’t strike you. Also interested in your remark above about having a mental image. I rarely have that. Maybe occasionally have some sense of wanting a lot of dark but thats it. I find my way as I go, using ‘like’ ‘don’t like’ ‘something missing’ ‘overdone it’ kind of judgements.

    1. Hi Ruth! yes, university as a mature student was a very interesting experience! I didn’t have a definitive identity as an artist before I went, having spent my time raising a family and working; I thought attending might provide some direction. It certainly pushed me out of my comfort zone working with large scale installations and sound. However, once graduated, these site specific pieces were difficult from both a technical side ( no longer having access to the uni’s facilities ) & a funding aspect – it was the chicken and egg situation, to get funding you needed a proven track record, to produce installations require money… so I turned to a more practical medium. However, I feel like I have gone back to square one, not sure of my direction again.. Unfortunately I don’t get together often with other artists (and yes I miss that artistic bubble from uni) – that’s why it was great attending Jean’s workshop!
      As regards the mental image….I usually have a starting point and an idea of how I want a piece to develop; however, if a ‘happy accident’ occurs I’m more that happy to work with it!
      I know that my lack of confidence is a big stumbling block for me but I persevere!

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