My art group, Capital Hill Arts League, has a fun show coming up. We all signed up to do a painting based on the cover of a song. My song is "On the Road Again." Since I had been reading The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, I decided to paint the bus, "Further." This is the bus Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters took across America. The driver is Neal Cassady, who evidently did most of the driving.
This painting is 22" x 28," so it is pretty big and kind of "in your face." I think, though, that was how it was when the Merry Pranksters were on the road!
I took a workshop several years ago with John Salminen. I haven't thought much about it until recently when I had a conversation with David Daniels, my watercolor teacher at Smithsonian Associates. What we discussed was the differnece between Salminen's amaszing urban landscapes and the content of the workshop, which was focussed on abstract composition. Above is the painting I completed in the workshop. Salminen led us through an interesting process. We did several drawings of common objects and then superimposed them on each other for rhe compositon. The paintings we worked on are full sheet watercolor, so they are complex. As we worked, we left a large area white. The idea, as I remember it, was to introduce color in a gradation so that the darkest areas would be toward the edge. In this workshop, we also used small collaged scraps and some black paint, including the lines. I nalso loved the use of glazing in various areas. When I came home, I continued to explore this process, and made a few more paintings.
I may return to this proscess though, of course, I will have my own take on it...there is something to be learned about making an effective composition. I am still learning! I think it is my biggest challenge.
At Christmas, my grandson Griffin gave me a bottle of wine from the local wine shop, DCanter. I made my usual "thank you card" based on the wine label. I also filed away a thought to make a bigger painting. This is it, but I modified it to make what is the logo and is yellow into an orange "orb"--maybe moon? maybe sun? maybe Mars? I also took "liberties" with the sky and made it yellow. Well, I do have an artistic license! The winemaker is "Buty" and they are in Washington state. Here's a picture of the bottle of wine and the actual label.
Here's another fun challenge. Make a painting in which everything is the complement of the local color. So, green is red and blue is orange. It was harder than I thought it would be, but I like the result. Yes, the colors are that intense...and they were in the image I was using:
I felt the blue would interpret better as a "new gamboge" yellow than a true orange. It is something I will try again.
Last week, in my watercolor class taught by David Daniels, we got a challenge. The challenge was to work from a sheet of black and white photos and make a painting. We could use one of the photos, or several...or, of course, not do it at all. This is my composition. It is 7 1/2 inches by 22 inches. I'm not sure what the animal crawling on the rocks is....any suggestions for improvement are welcome.
My plan is to mount it on a rice paper scroll rather than framing it.
Below is a photo of the handout I used as inspiration.