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#30×30 Day 02 : New Mexico I’ve Never Been

June 2, 2021

I am of the mind that, if we’re going to bother to work in traditional media we should use it for it’s strengths.

When we think about watercolor, for some people that’s about transparency. They choose the media for it’s delicacy, and the ability to make soft transparent layers that gradually build up a controlled image.

Not me! Hah!

To me, the real spirit of watercolor is the fluid dynamics.

What water will do when it’s spilled, when it’s splashed, or when it drips. This is what I mean when I say ‘Direct Watercolor’.

I woke up thinking, yesterday’s work was far too conservative. So this is where I’m at today. Going a bit wild.

Ok, I admit, this isn’t the most successful painting I’ve ever made. But I still like it. I’ve chosen it from a few false starts today.

When you’re trying to break out from a place of timidity, or, a literal interpretation of a photo (which I find boring to undertake), you have to take risks – and that means you have to decide in advance to be happy with the result.

You have to go in with a ‘panning for gold’ mentality. Open to what the experiment produces. Not trying too hard to control the results. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself unwilling to take risks, and therefor, unable to advance.

If you can believe it, this is today’s watercolor vs. the ‘inspiration’ in oil. It doesn’t look like they have anything to do with each other does it?

Thing is – I remembered this oil painting of scrubby trees against a cliff wall – but I’d sold it a while back, and I couldn’t actually compare them till I dug into my photo files and found it. Clearly, I’d forgotten the very strong red-rock colors that dominate the painting.

I only had my memory of the idea – these twisted desert bonsai blending into the landscape.

Maybe if we just look tree-vs-tree it makes more sense.

Maybe not!

Anyway – that’s my Day Two of #30×30.

See you tomorrow!


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Laurel permalink
    June 2, 2021 9:58 AM

    Thanks for the emails, I haven’t painted in weeks and you inspired me to just go for it in my sketchbook.

  2. June 2, 2021 10:30 AM

    I love this approach Marc….very rich and bold!

  3. Chris Carter permalink
    June 2, 2021 10:32 AM

    Absolutely!!!!! I adore the fluid dynamics of watercolor and the “collaboration” I feel when painting with watercolor. The splats, drips and surprises that allow the painting to breathe, coming to life in a way that is totally unique to watercolor.

  4. scottngov permalink
    June 6, 2021 3:41 PM

    Marc, your style has evolved —since finding your work floating in cyberspace several years ago, I’ve become a big fan, and I admire your efforts in pushing your own limits. As they say, we don’t wear the same clothes as we did in days before. But this one is so abstract that I can’t tell what it is —a good thing, if you think about it :)

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