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Day 20 : #30x30DirectWatercolor2019 : Black Ocean Event

June 20, 2019

“Black Ocean Event” 18×18″ watercolor on paper.

I’ve been thinking about something I want to call “Emergent Subject Matter”.

I didn’t think this was possible, but this series is making me think – you can make a work of art without knowing what it means to you.

If you asked me last year, I’d have said – that’s ridiculous. That’s just someone who has nothing to say. Or they’re making it up. That’s pretentious.

But, this is how I feel today.

I sketched these sketches – the whole series of Notans – in an academic mode. Thinking about composition and formal concerns. Graphic design issues.

Now I’m painting these pieces in a flood of water and color. Building texture, making marks. Working in a flurry of activity, fully engaged in the process. Your conscious mind is full of painting technique. Your unconscious – it isn’t talking. You’re far too busy painting to be thinking deeply.

Practically speaking, the painting is soaking wet. The paper is cockled with water. Everything is dark and glossy, the colors are nothing like what they will be when it all dries down.

Later, after it’s complete, and you’re looking at it as an outside viewer – you can have a real reaction.

Just like you’re standing in a museum wondering – what was the artist thinking? What does this make me feel?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Pegret Harrison permalink
    June 20, 2019 10:36 AM

    The diagonals are soooo powerful. This work rocks! And your description is so valuable.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Antje permalink
    June 21, 2019 7:02 AM

    I love this! What you seem to be talking about is the materiality of the, erm, painting materials and how exciting it is to use them, especially if you lay them on with a lot of water and pigment. And once that’s done, it’s done. I don’t paint like that, but what you’re writing makes me want to try it out. Chapeau anyway on your series so far!

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