The Reason I Paint


“Flutter Free”     15″ x 11″  Strathmore Aquarelle paper, Daniel Smith Paints

The third painting from Monday’s class.  Did I mention I forgot my pencil case?  One of my fellow students generously leant me a pencil, but when I tried to erase on the first painting, it left a nasty smudge.  So no drawing after the first painting.  But that’s o.k.  Next week’s class is painting without drawing, so I think I’ve got this.

In order to vary things even more on this third painting,  I pulled out my trusty travel bag of paints, grabbed two colors I hardly ever use, Cadmium Orange and New Gamboge. Cad Orange isn’t the most transparent of colors, which I’m sure is why I had a hard time removing the cap!

Using a reference photo I took on Edisto Island when these pretties were just fluttering around everywhere we went, I started in happily splashing water then paint.  Not quite sure what was happening at first, trusting it would work out and eventually we ended up here. A little salt, a little scraping, a few details, and I stopped.

Whenever I start a painting, I try to answer the question….why this subject or photo? I feel it sets the tone for my painting, affects my color choice, composition, even the size of the paper I use. In this case, I loved the color of the butterflies, the memory of the fluttering wings on a lovely vacation day. Admittedly, I often start a painting with little regard to anything besides the music that is playing in my studio.

Happy, playful, reminiscent of the day the photo was taken, I am happy with this painting.  It conveys the reason I paint.  Not to paint an accurate rendition of what my camera recorded, but to convey the feelings evoked that made me want to paint them in the first place.

Do you know the reason you paint?

“Did You Art Today?”

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4 thoughts on “The Reason I Paint

  1. This is lovely, you’re right that it evokes a feeling. I really need to learn to use watercolour, I always default to pencil sketches because I’m scared of making mistakes.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I have always figured mistakes are the way I learn. There is always the back of the paper and the paper can be gessoed over. I also consider it my contribution to society. If I don’t use the paper, some papermaker might lose their job. If cost is an issue, you can always ask for gift certificates from family for special occasions. My advice….be fearless. Hope you give it a try.

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