Monday, May 25, 2020

Bougainvillea Season

"Bougainvillea Season"
6" x 6" Arches 100% Cold Press w/c paper

I had the time but didn't want to paint today. That's how it goes for me: when I don't have time, I crave creating time. When I have time, my mind can think of all sorts of reasons not to make stuff. 

I tuned into an art podcast and started organizing my office/studio. Today it was Eric Rhoads and artist Lyn Boyers on Rhoads' PleinAir Podcast -- one of my favorite go-to podcasts.

Coincidently, Boyers addressed my situation: "Sometimes I literally don't want to paint," she said. What that happens, she immediately does a mental scan. 

"You can do it quickly," she said, "and the answer is immediate. I say, 'What am I avoiding?' and 'What scares me?' (In relation to painting.)" Boyers then faces that fear in the day's painting.

I'd wanted to portray this house in the 'hood with the bougainvillea. It's high season in Alameda for these beautiful bushes, and they are my favorites. (I also covet this house, which happens to be for sale but is waaaaay beyond my price range.)

I wanted to approach the painting without ink because I thought the black lines would interfere with the color intensity. But as we know, using ink for a beginning framework is my comfort zone. That's why I'd been avoiding the project for several days.

Boyers beckoned me to plunge into my fear. I took a breath and did the color study, below, and then took another breath and created the painting above. I may try another version that gives the bougainvillea more real estate on the page and that doesn't bungle up the support column quite as much. But when I do, I won't be afraid of not using ink.

Thank you, Lyn Boyers and Eric Rhoads.  

Color/Value Study for Bougainvillea Season
7.5" x 7.5" watercolor
Stillman & Birns Zeta sketchbook

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