I think I may have overdone the amount of objects in my still life because this one seriously almost killed me! It took me practically 4 weeks to finish. I don’t even want to count how many hours that would be… (Don’t think… don’t think…don’t think about that!)
Here is a progression of photos depicting how I chose to tackle it.
Fruits of My Garden – watercolor 22×30
Here are some of my favorite areas of the painting. In a way it’s like 4 different paintings in one.
I think half the reason the painting took so long is because the paper was terrible.
It is totally my fault. I went to the RISD store to buy some good paper and when I saw the beautiful pieces for $20-$50 each, I cheaped-out and bought the $5 sheets. YES. YES. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. A good sheet of paper is like cotton. You drip some watercolor onto it and it sucks it up and spreads like a plant drinking water. A crap piece of paper is a whole ‘nother ballgame. You puddle some water on it, add the paint and the paint goes – um… NOWHERE. It just sits on the surface never becoming one with the paper.
Another horrible feature of this paper comes from the fact that a big part of water-coloring is the ability to lift, blot, rub and remove paint from the surface. This is how you get the areas of reflection and sunlight. When I rubbed the surface of the cheap paper, it literally crumbled and created holes. A quality paper is tough like fabric. It can take everything you throw at it. Look back at how many areas of sunlight there are in this painting and just consider how many battles I had with deteriorating paper. Oh yeah, I got what I paid for all right. A complete and total nightmare!
And I’m just too darn stubborn to walk away. I did work with the crappy paper and I have a few more sheets of it too. I’ll probably cheap out and use it “because I already paid for it” even though what I should really do is THROW IT IN MY CAMPFIRE!
What I really need to do is hand my credit card over to a trusted love one, have them enter the store without me, ask for the best paper in the joint, buy it and promise to never tell me how much it cost. Hmm… I should take this advice! Mom? Husband?
On the pottery front I just started making these jugs. I will have to admit that most of my good ideas come from 100% selfish motives. I hope these will be out in time to fill them with all the flowers about to burst in my garden. I’ll keep you posted on how they turn out.
OK. When I hit the publish button on this post, I will have officially earned my “clean slate”. Now, to figure out what I want to do next…
Mary, your paintings are just beautiful. You are so talented.