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#30×30 Day 29 : Rousseau, the Snake Charmer

June 28, 2021

I’m winding up this small set of artist portraits with Henri Rousseau.

I much prefer that he stayed home and painted fantasies of the jungles, instead of following Gauguin and going out to live them.

And here it is! This is my last painting for #30×30 2021. I’ve been wanting for a while, to make a jungle fantasy in the spirit of Rousseau. Today I thought – lets do it, using everything watercolor on YUPO has been offering. The drips, the floods, the self-erasing-color, and the ability to wipe out and paint back in.

This slippery surface may lack subtlety – but it offers a kind of flexibility that otherwise can’t exist with this media. It’s just the thing for anyone who has been struggling with spontaneity – or – feeling constrained by the intimidation factor of watercolor.

I’m excited to have ‘rediscovered’ YUPO, as it might allow me to be as experimental in water media, as our oil painting compatriots have been all these years, with all their fearless scraping-out and painting-over.

I want to thank everybody who followed along with this year’s #30×30, and especially the people posting in our Facebook group.

The teamwork and the shared accountability has given me the motivation to keep pushing forward, regardless of whatever else is going on in real life.

I have to be honest – I wasn’t sure if I was going to even do the marathon this year. If it weren’t for all of us painting together, I probably would have given up. So I really can’t thank you all enough!

I’ll give the last words this year to Rousseau.

“There are two ways of expressing things; one is to show them crudely, the other is to evoke them artistically.”

“I cannot now change my style, which I acquired, as you can imagine, by dint of labour.”

“Politeness requires this thing, decorum that. Ceremony has its forms, and fashion its laws, and these must always follow, never the promptings of our own nature.”

Visitor: “Why did you paint a couch in the middle of the jungle?”
Rousseau: “Because one has a right to paint one’s dreams.”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 28, 2021 10:55 AM

    Beautiful pictures and sketches. Keep up.

  2. Erik Madsen permalink
    June 28, 2021 11:58 AM

    Thanks for coordinating the 30/30 again this year, it gives me the motivation to try new things each year!

  3. Gerry permalink
    June 28, 2021 2:08 PM

    I love this series you have been doing on the artists – very exciting and encouraging!

  4. Lisa Baratta permalink
    June 28, 2021 6:23 PM

    Following you for a year – love your work and your thoughtful commentary. I’m new to watercolor last year (after drawing / sketching for four years). Thanks for the inspiration! And after reading your blog post last week about YUPO paper, I bought my first pad yesterday and did my first YUPO painting today – I love it! Thanks for brightening my day.

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