Morning Light

This was a lesson in how to salvage a painting and turn it into something else. It started off as a seascape. I had taken a photo looking out across the bay with a sliver of light coming through the clouds and reflecting  a sliver of what looked like silver light on the sea. After painting the watercolor I realized I had not made the sea dark enough to get the sliver of reflected light to glow.  I made the mistake of going back into the piece to try and fix this and in doing so, overworked it. I have learned over the years that you should never go back into a sky to try and fix things and I think the same applies to the sea. At first I thought of abandoning the piece and starting again, but I liked the sky so much I decided to turn it into a landscape to salvage it.  I took it to class where it was well received so I'm pleased I did not throw it away.


Lone Cypress

I painted this watercolor a few months ago but didn't particularly like it so I put it away. My efforts to produce a painting for class this week failed, so I dug this watercolor out of my draw and took it along. Well, to my surprise our instructor, Jerry Stitt, raved about it.  And the rest of the class loved it too. That got me wondering what it was that I didn't like about it. I guess it's just a case of not being painted in my usual, more atmospheric style. It also got me wondering whether I should be considering what others like about my paintings - with a view to selling.  It's a loaded subject. It feels good when I paint something I like and the hope is that a few other people will like it too - maybe even enough to buy the piece. My watercolors that have sold were a mix of what I like painting and some where I was trying other styles with my watercolors. I guess there is always someone out there that will like something you do. I try to marry the skills of painting with marketing my work, but it takes so much of one's time that it's not always easy to balance the two.


A Quiet Place

I took this painting to class last week and the criticism was that the darks needed to be joined, otherwise it was too spotty. Another criticism was that the two pieces of land on either side in the distance were too similar.  I like the watercolor the way it was - because I feel I created this peaceful isolated scene. A  point Jerry always makes in class is that the elements and principles of design are guidelines and not rules. I always try to be mindful of that when creating my watercolors but in this instance I broke the rules and am happy with the results.