I am currently in the process of brushing a thick coat of gesso over an in-progress acrylic painting. I had high hopes when I set sail on this particular piece, but it just wasn’t working. I loved the subject, composition, and colors, but my lack of control with the medium kept me from capturing the detail I wanted. I was sailing on rough waters that left me feeling moody, frustrated, and seasick. I had no choice but to head back to port. Nothing compares to the glorious control I can get from a pencil or watercolor brush, but acrylics give me the bold, vibrant color and texture that I love. So what’s a girl to do? I could continue working with my acrylics in an attempt to successfully navigate those waters, but tacking and gybing can be a lot of work. I prefer a cruise ship to a sailboat when I travel on the ocean, so I think I’ll take the easy route and demand vibrancy from my watercolors. That’s my goal this summer—to create the bluest blues and greenest greens I can from my watercolor tubes and pans. If I can combine bright, bold color with meticulous control, I’ll finally feel like the captain of my ship. I’m an optimist, so I’m counting on clear skies, calm seas, and smooth sailing.
“Smooth Sailing”–Prismacolor Colored Pencils on Bristol Board
Every seasoned sailor knows when it’s time to abandon ship, and every smart artist knows when it’s time to abandon a project. “Vintage” looked great in my head, and pretty good on paper, but when the paint hit the canvas, I knew my ship was sinking—fast. I wanted vintage elegance, but I ended up with graphic boldness—right idea, wrong medium. Watercolor would give me the softness and fine detail I needed for this particular piece. An expensive gallery wrapped canvas and a background I loved begged me to abandon my idea and start fresh. I tossed myself a life ring—in the form of a jar of gesso—and headed for shore. I have a final project to paint, and I can’t waste time bailing water. This summer, without the pressure of the semester weighing down my ship, there’s a chance I might explore these waters again, but I can guarantee you I’ll be wearing a life jacket—just in case.
I had my doubts about her sea worthiness, but I decided to set sail.
Half way through my color study, I could tell she was taking on water…
I finally sounded the alarm: Abandon Ship!!