January 16, 2011

Marathon watercolor session coming to a close.

I've learned a couple of things.
1) I love painting. Ok, I already knew that
2) Watercolor painting is incredibly meditative for me. Alright, I knew that, too.
3) I get grumpy if the paperwork side of things keeps from getting in the studio. Well, duh, I knew that one too.

So what did I learn then, you may be asking.

1) I function best when I paint and stay off the computer. On Saturday, I primarily relied on my smartypants phone for what sparse communication I chose to partake in. I worked about 11-12 hours, for real, painting. I took a break to rake some leaves, play catch with the dog, and buy some watercolor paper. Later I took another break to ply myself with food around dinner time. It was great, and even a bit exhausting in a good way. An honest day's work.

2) I also have to realize I can't cram all my office work into some circle of hell from which I'll never escape. I was trying so hard to do what some people call, "Eating the frog first." You know, doing the thing you hate first. Right. Well, that worked for about 5 or 6 days until I found myself going stark mad.

The sudden watercolor surge is due to SMMOA's annual benefit, which I have again had the pleasure of being invited to participate. For some reason I do watercolors for this. Since I began painting small for the real work, I inadvertently dropped my watercolor practice. The watercolors used to be what I did in between the large works. Being that the pace and scale of all the work is now small, (for the time being) there's been no in between. I can't explain it any better than that.

I got hooked on hot press board a few years back, but this weekend bought a couple of those ridiculously expensive Arches watercolor blocks, one hot press, and another, rough. Personally, I don't think they're as nice as the single Imperial sheets of Arches, but they're okay, and since they're blocks, no stretching. They're much better than okay, but I'm such the connoisseur. I haven't worked on rough in a loooong time and almost returned the block unopened, but decided to give it a go. My scale is 9" x 12" and 7" x 10". I'm wondering if I will work back up to large scale watercolor this year. I feel like 2011 will be a works on paper year. I also need, like desperately need, some new watercolors. I'm cheap. Remember those cereal boxes you could eat out of-the single serving ones? You gutted them down the middle and then splayed them open. 95% of my watercolors and gouache are so old and yet, so unused, that I've had to cut them open and use them as watercolor cakes. I also stockpiled some nice ass brushes back in the Golden State and have a serious brush crush on a couple of my new old brushes. Kolinsky Sable Pointed Rounds, the ultimate driving machine. As a student I don't think I would have noticed the precise difference in spring, tip, or belly among quality brushes, but now, OMG, I am so sensitive to the feel of a really good brush. When I first started doing watercolor, I was using decent, but by no means the best, brushes. I know this because I still have some of them. My name is taped on them. Why? Because I once had a conniption fit when I saw my ex using them for oil painting without even asking me, stating that I was doing video, so I didn't need them anymore. I promptly labeled all my brushes after that incident. I can't even imagine what I would have done had a Kolinsky sable been violated. It was downhill after that, as you might imagine. I will share my toothbrush, before I share my good watercolor brushes. The other brushes aren't so sacred, but the watercolor brush obsession...I can't explain. It just is. Call it nerd bling.

Um, wow, can you tell I'm kind of excited to be working with watercolor again?


Carla said...

Weird, I had similar breakthrough energy yesterday, after a terrible week(s) of forcing myself to do things. I was so "on" it would have been worrisome, exept I was also focussed and productive.

I hate sharing brushes, or having others clean my brushes, any brushes.

M.A.H. said...

I went back in a funk today after having car vandalized. Minor shit, but still, for some reason, it just seems like the never ending next to last straw.

Carla said...

That sucks. Did they damage the body, or just get the logo? Do you think it happened at your home? My mood is easing back to norm. I'm a little sore from the kick-boxing workout I squeezed in between all the manic other stuff.

My snow will likely be rained away tonight though. That will be great.

M.A.H. said...

Since I haven't left home in weeks, i think it happened here. Possibly last night. Just the logo, but it sticks stick out like a sore thumb. They scraped or peeled it away and just left the silver disk. I guess I could hand paint the emblem back on, but it would look like I hand-painted the emblem back on. My recent ex would be having a cow if he read that.