A long time ago in a world that now seems like make-believe, I was obsessed with replicating the look of tooled leather in watercolor. Extremely time-consuming, these paintings took between 80 and 100 hours each. The process involved a lot of drawing, scoring of paper, 10 to 12 layers of paint, lifting of paint. But there was a rhythm to the work. Addictive. The paintings did reasonably well in local and regional shows, one even went to Wyoming.
Somewhere along the way, I took a class with my mentor, Dan Hines (who has now moved on to show the angels how to paint wet-into-wet.) His loose style, with his beautiful palette was spontaneous, bright and lively. His class was just the trick to free my brush. I have never gone back to the tooled leather paintings. Occasionally, after an evening with Jack Daniels, I will contemplate the fact that I could probably do a better tooled leather painting now. But that’s as far as it’s gotten.
But painting in a series has its benefits. You know what’s coming next. Another version of what you just did. I have several series in mind. Some sweet photos of a down-to-business reining horse performing a lovely spin inspired the painting at the top of the blog. While in Sarasota on vacation, the action of my polo shots are just begging for paper, and Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Reserve holds several vistas near and dear to my heart. So the above represents the beginning of the reining series.
However, the rhythm is already broken. I’ve been commissioned for several paintings which will take precedence. Knowing my inability to stay on track for long periods of time, I’m sure I’ll be able to throw a few “flying brushstroke” paintings into the tightness of painting commissions. Beginning to believe this inability to stay on track is nothing of the sort. It’s just I can only stay in the right side of my brain for so long. Actually, it’s about an hour and a half. Afterward, I need to come back to the real world. Wash some dishes, dust a bureau. My rhythm is just that. Uniquely mine!
If I had to compare my rhythm to a dance, I’m thinking it might be jitterbug….sort of all over the place. Got me to thinking – What rhythm do you dance to when you create – salsa, disco, waltz…?