Sunday, January 16, 2022

More Time Doesn't Necessarily Yield Better Results

Big Sur Study #3
watercolor and gouache on Arches 100% cotton hot press paper 

If you're looking for a reason to quit a day job in order to pursue your creative projects, note this caveat: more time doesn't necessarily yield better results. 

Yesterday I had time to spare on the two Big Sur studies. Yet the more time I spent, the worse the paintings became. I never did get the rocks right in terms of texture. I re-wetted those areas several times, wiping away paint and then reapplying it. The paint got muddy, as happens easily with watercolor when you go over the surface too many times. 

For today's study I gave myself a shorter time limit as well as a limit re: how many layers of paint I would apply. I also didn't let myself remove any paint. And I switched to hot press paper, just for the heck of it. 

There's still so much to learn! But I feel this is a slightly better study in terms of spontaneity and looseness. I think putting a time limit on it helped. Not crazy about the hot press paper, but now I have a better appreciation of rougher surfaces of cold press papers, which can grab the paint in interesting ways. That is, if you aren't over-painting because you have no time restrictions. 

Time vs. lack of time makes me think of all the (mostly creative-nonfiction) writing I've done in the cracks over the years as I carried on as a teacher and commercial freelance writer. Maybe the writing was better and more focused because it was done in the cracks. 

Maybe there are good reasons not to quit one's day job(s)? 

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