Skip to content

Day Four : #30x30DirectWatercolor2018

June 4, 2018

What went wrong?

I’m trying something here, which I’m tentatively calling: Nothing Views.

That is – you should be able to make a painting of any street. Even if there’s no obvious subject. This is from the intersection of Queen Mary and Côte-des-Neiges.

My working theory is: any view, no matter how ‘boring’ – a painter should be able to make something of it.

Why is this an issue for me? I’m wondering if it’s a kind of cheating, or mental laziness if every painting you make has to have an idyllic view.

It’s a kind of burgeoning problem for me.

If I’m ONLY a travel sketcher, galivanting around the world painting ancient ruins or epic landscapes – what am I supposed to do with myself at home? What’s a sustainable kind of image you can engage with on an everyday basis? <This is an open question].

What went right?

The upper right-hand corner.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Janet permalink
    June 4, 2018 9:10 AM

    I’ve often asked myself the same question; however I do think a painting subject should have some purpose, be it attractive, evocative or have a message.

  2. June 4, 2018 9:17 AM

    Yes! I agree about finding a way to make a good painting of “ordinary” scenes. I think the strong value changes between the dark tree and the amazing way you painted the cloud in the right corner created a wonderful painting.

  3. June 4, 2018 9:36 AM

    I am a firm believer that “anything worth seeing is worth sketching.” I only have one functional eye now, and when they had to operate on the remaining eye, my appreciation of Sight skyrocketed. I now teach a sketching class called “Look at That!” for precisely this reason. I love your writing as well as your painting, Marc.

  4. Dana Richards permalink
    June 4, 2018 10:05 AM

    I like ALL your works, flops included. I’m thinking 1 answer to your open question of what to paint in everyday mundane settings might be close-ups. There are dozens of interesting subjects withIN this current painting of yours!

    • Carla permalink
      June 4, 2018 11:03 AM

      You are so right about this issue, Marc. Not all of us can travel so much. Nor do all of us live in cities as beautiful as Chicago, Barcelona, Paris, New York, etc. What do WE paint? This is a good issue that you’ve discussed here. I work at seeing the interest in the mundane. I know it’s here. It was great workshop in Chicago. I loved it! And yes . . . the right corner for sure.

  5. jcbrown2017 permalink
    June 4, 2018 10:31 AM

    My eye immediately went to the upper right corner! I agree with you 💯% it’s great! Thanks for inspiring those of us who are also challenged by the everyday views!

  6. June 4, 2018 10:31 AM

    Marc,

    I am really enjoying your daily painting this month and read every one and think about what you have done that day and are trying to do. I may try the direct painting…..we’ll see….

  7. Carla permalink
    June 4, 2018 11:06 AM

    You are so right about this issue, Marc. Not all of us can travel so much. Nor do all of us live in cities as beautiful as Chicago, Barcelona, Paris, New York, etc. What do WE paint? This is a good issue that you’ve discussed here. I work at seeing the interest in the mundane. I know it’s here. It was great workshop in Chicago. I loved it! And yes . . . the right corner for sure.

  8. roxannesteed permalink
    June 4, 2018 11:16 AM

    Valid question – so glad you started a discussion on this here. I’ve often pondered this same thing. “What can I bring to this painting of something that may seem quite ‘mundane’ to anyone else.” It really is something that’s frequently on my mind as I go through my day, even when I’m not painting.

  9. darylashby1 permalink
    June 4, 2018 11:20 AM

    Marc I quite liked your first painting that you posted. I didn’t see anything wrong with it. I guess art is in the eye of the beholder. I haven’t joined your wc group but have been following closely. When I get out to do plein air, I am definitely going to work at doing this kind of direct painting.

  10. cmcnamara1220 permalink
    June 4, 2018 11:46 AM

    My world has been pretty close to home lately, and choosing what to draw or paint for this challenge had me looking more closely at my yard. So far, I’ve found weeds growing out of cracks in a wall, magnolia blossoms, cacti, and other mundane subjects. I’m focusing on shadows and color contrast –a lot to practice.

  11. Max permalink
    June 4, 2018 11:52 AM

    Nicely done Mark. You have painted along side James Gurney, you know the mundane everyday scenes can be made to look epic with the right light (existing light or manufactured with “artistic licence”).

  12. Ellie permalink
    June 4, 2018 3:11 PM

    In my opinion, the entire painting went “right”. Thank you again for sharing.

  13. June 4, 2018 7:36 PM

    I’m really enjoying these posts, Marc, and they’re making me think. I like your analysis of what went wrong, what went right, and why. The question you pose here (about painting the stuff we find familiar, boring, nothing) is a big one for me too.

  14. June 5, 2018 9:21 AM

    Great questions, Marc, about pondering what to paint when our surroundings seem too familiar and mundane. For me, I look for a story, or conveyance of an element of local culture, capture something surprising in a mundane setting, abstract the ordinary, highlight one or more elements of design, and of course capture the magic of light and contrast.

    I like the light and contrast in your painting in this post. Love the granulation in the sky, and the bold shadows in the foreground in green-gold.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: