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Friday, December 2, 2011

Great Egret #1

Thank you ,Laure, for the warm ‘Welcome back Introduction.’ Greetings old friends and new ones I hope to meet.

I’ll be the first to admit when I finished my first 100 Paintings challenge about a year ago I savored what I had accomplished and heaved a sigh of relief that it was over. I made it all the way! Only later did it sink in how much I had learned during the challenge. One of the most important insights was the importance of experimenting and enjoying. Also, much to my surprise, I had discovered I could have meaningful interactions with other artists via the internet. I enjoyed watching others grow … and I enjoyed the encouragement and sharing my work with others.

Now, to change the subject: Right here, at the beginning, I’m going to be a little bit wordy and comment on why I want to include a focus on paper as part of my challenge. In years past, when I was painting professionally, I almost always painted very detailed work: watercolor on illustration board; acrylic on masonite. My style was very realistic. Now I want to be more artistic.

Mostly I’m a bit frugal when it comes to my art supplies. On my first round of The 100 Paintings Challenge I started out mostly experimenting on three of relatively inexpensive papers and virtually all the paint came out of an ancient tin box of pan watercolors. Then I happened to find a tablet put out by Strathmore featuring a variety of their good watercolor papers. I started having fun with it; and mentioned it to a fellow artist who I know from Yellowstone. Judy surprised me with samples of several more brands. Wow! By now it was dawning on me that papers vary a lot …. And that means the results we get varies a lot. I don’t plan to try every paper in the store, but I do plan to use a variety of papers and let you know what surface I’m working on for each painting. Some of it will still be on my old standbys -- I want to try a variety of art on different surfaces. Most of my paintings will be watercolor or pen and ink plus watercolor. By the end of this challenge I hope to have a good understanding of which paper I want to grab for different types of paintings. I’m hoping it’ll be a relatively short list that I settle on.

4 comments:

Dora said...

Good luck in your new challenge Elva. Your experimenting with different paper will be a great lesson for me, as I am learning about watercolor and surfaces to use. I'm looking forward to your challenge progress!

Elizabeth Smith said...

Beautiful painting! Love the subject and the way you contrasted the loose background with the tighter and more formal stance of the great egret - there is a nice tension there! Even though the colors are muted and more neutral, they are still alive!

Katie said...

I'm so excited to see you do the challenge again Elva, I adore your style and your writing. I will savor your paintings and be interested in what you learn along the way about paper. I confess I know the minimal and haven't done much comparing either, so waiting with anticipation here. :) Thank you for this great forum, Laure, it's a favorite source of inspiration.

Margaret said...

Fascinating. I would love to do this someday. I will be popping over to your Field Notes blog after the holidays for a long visit.

The white birds are gorgeous!