It’s been too long since I have painted in a painterly fashion. I needed to jolt myself out of my comfort zone. It’s unfair to push my students out of their comfort zones if I linger in my own. To be a better teacher I need to be a better student. One of the exercises in Veronica Lawlor’s book One Drawing a Day is to draw with a bamboo pen. I chose to draw a vase of long-stemmed roses from Valentine’s Day that I had yet to dispose of. They are rather dry to say the least. The drawing was awkward. I haven’t drawn with a bamboo pen in several years. I thought I might improve it a bit with some watercolor washes. It only made it worse. Being terribly stubborn, I didn’t give up. Out came the gouache and the magic began to happen. I thought of my dear friend, Joanie Springer, whose license plate is “GOUACHE”.
Such joy! Such pleasure! Complete dreadfulness was transformed with painterly strokes. I’m not showing the entire piece because as a whole, it remains unresolved. Some of the details, however, are absolutely delicious and I am reminded of why I paint. When I see strokes, caligraphy marks, colors, textures, edges, drips and splatters working together harmoniously creating a symphony of visual richness, I am euphoric.
Dried Roses – Drawn first with bamboo pen soaked in water for an hour before using with Noodler’s Whalerman Sepia ink, followed by watercolor washes, more watercolor washes, too many watercolor washes … washed under the faucet on the left side, followed by more watercolor and finally pushed around with gouache. Viola!