Lest We Forget

Still Life # 100
Watercolor, 15 x 22 inches

Okay already! I have been very absent.

I have, however been painting. But not painting like you might think I have. In the last 9 weeks, most of my efforts have been aimed at new, solid examples of design approaches and how to use some of the tools. For example, I have painted some 14 different times the same drawing in 14 different color approaches to illustrate how mood is affected by color choices.
Also, I recently did a number of pieces focused around the principles of value design. And it was actually fun. (Have you forgotten that you took up painting because it was fun?) Yes, it was fun. Nothing earth shaking came out of these many little examples, but it has certainly helped me become much more convinced of the many ways to manipulate the elements and principles of design.
While I have been teaching (and earning a living, too,) I have also been working at being the leader of the National Watercolor Society. And, not surprisingly, leading brings with it worry and sometimes angst. Not that anything is wrong at the society, but events have to be managed and people need to be coached (or whatever) . . . and this causes me to awaken out of sound sleep, sometimes. So, at 4 AM, after such a mental episode, I will make the coffee and go directly to the studio to paint.
Lately, my mind is brimming with ideas to put in front of my enthused class. Along with all the other concerns racing around in my noggin. Today was no different I flew out of bed at that horrible hour of 4AM studio bound.
Texture and Pattern are to be the last lesson next week. So, I set about making another still life painting (number 110!) to see what I could do with texture and pattern. WOW! What happened!? I just let my silly side take a seat front and center. Last week one of class participants used a similar backdrop for their painting, like this grid pattern you see in this painting . . . .I decided to used it and do some other textural ‘stunts’ to bring home the effects of pattern and texture. Before I knew it, I was having so much fun I was actually giggling as I made the painting! Yes! I was laughing out loud.
This may seem somewhat near insanity, but I can assure you it is not. You see, I began painting several years ago (23) just for fun. That ‘s right I was intent on doing this for fun. Every time I paint, silly thoughts come to mind about what I might do . . . .or my first watercolor teacher (Her name is Oneida!) and how much her lessons still make me smile to myself. . . . . or trying to discover some way to include a silly approach into a serious painting.
I suppose we must, from time to time, not forget why we began this journey. We are doing it for FUN! Right? So, when we get frustrated with our lack of progress or ruined paintings, isn’t the most healthy thing to do just to call to mind our reasons? Isn’t it cool that we can completely escape, make funny representations of stuff and giggle while we are at it? Pretty soon the purposes intensify, (like entering competitions), but the real reason we do this is for FUN. Let’s never let go of that!!
I had a BLAST making this painting . . . and I think it shows! (It also counts for brush mileage!)

2 thoughts on “Lest We Forget”

  1. Such a delight to read this post after checking all the news hot spots of the world, my own country (NZ) and Japan included.

    I saw this in my "in-box" and thought "I'll come back to that". I am so glad I did; it has lifted my spirits to start my day.

    Thanks so much for your fresh and cheerful take on life! It's just what I needed as I work on a darker subject for an upcoming exhibition. We all need to be reminded to have fun to keep ourselves "topped up" for completing other work.

  2. A great reminder of why we do this, Mike 🙂 You pulled out your whole bag of texture tricks for this one and yet made a very cohesive piece – I like it and it definitely is not your usual still life painting. Unusual is good!

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