Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I Am Going Backwards!


Watercolor
Last month, I was asked to give a speech to a watercolor society about my journey as an artist and the supplies I use and why. Writing that speech gave me time to reflect and I realized that I am going backwards.....but in a good way!
One of the perks of getting older is I have more time to LEARN.
When the kids were young, and painting time was limited, I grabbed my paints and jumped right in. There was no time to study and understand 'paint properties' or how each color responded. In fact, ignorance was bliss!
The amazing artists that I have met over the last few years have studied and know their paints and have shown me the importance of knowing. I am basically self-taught, never went to college, and have fumbled along on my own. I readily admit to my students that I bought and used colors because they 'looked pretty'! For the last several years I have been on a quest to learn more about my paints.
I like to think of it as continued ‘research’ rather than seeing myself going in ‘reserve’. I have the life experience and technical skill and now I am learning why I need to make certain choices and save myself and my students’ frustration.
Creating color charts are a helpful tool. I note the brand and indicate if the colors are transparent,
Watercolor
semi-transparent, opaque, staining, granulating etc, and encourage students to do the same.
Many of my fellow artists paint with opaque watercolors, many are purist and use only transparent pigments, and others like myself, mix it up and use both. I like to think there is not a right way or a wrong way, (consider all that you learn from instructors, blogs, books, videos and magazines,) and find your way! The bulk of my ‘research’ is from these very sources and I keep 'Post-it' notes on hand to record the invaluable information that I come across on a daily basis.
Whether you contribute to a blog, have authored a book or article, or have been a student, you have all shared in my growth and I want to express my sincere and heartfelt gratitude for filling my 'Post-it notes' with knowledge which has helped me to become a better artist and teacher. Thank you!
Richard Back said “You teach best what you most need to learn.”

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin

2 comments:

  1. Hi Cindy, Your title caught my attention. I know what you mean about seeming to have to go backwards in order to go forwards. Like you, I'm self taught. I find myself taking time to learn things. For example, I've gone back to focusing on value patterns and drawing skills. Maybe the wonderful thing is that there are always new things to learn.

    I enjoyed your article. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Peggy. I am so glad you enjoyed the article. Value patterns and drawing skills are terrific subjects to focus on. Sometimes I get so caught up in the 'details' that I forget to step back and look at the painting as a whole. I agree with you, the beauty in learning is it never ends. When I finish a painting, I like to think the NEXT one is the BEST one....that way there is always something to learn and to work for!

    ReplyDelete