I sometimes work in series. Whenever I paint, my brain is always thinking "what if"? What if I change the colors, reposition the objects, use pouring instead of brushwork? Working in series allows me to explore the many possibilities in a subject. The catch for me is to not let myself get obsessively stuck on one thing, or to get stale. The two paintings above were attempts to paint my cat, Albert. I love to garden, and Albert likes to nap half hidden under the foliage. I'm not the best weeder, and often my tomato patch takes on the appearance of a jungle. He has startled me on numerous occasions while reaching through the leaves to pick the tomatoes. Although I like the sunny quality of version I, I kept thinking about possible changes I could make. In painting II, I darkened the darks, changed the foreground, and added tomatoes. Which is your favorite? Both paintings are for sale--$400 for either, unframed.
This fall I took a four day workshop from Kris Parins , an artist whose work I first saw in Watercolor Artist Magazine. In addition to the traditional brush, Kris uses pouring as a way to add watercolor paint to paper. I like to take workshops whenever I can--each teacher has helped me advance faster than I ever could alone. Kris is a very giving and patient teacher. The following images illustrate one of my first poured watercolor paintings in the process of being "born". To see more of Kris Parins art, see her website at: http://kris-parins.artistwebsites.com/news.html
3. The next step was to draw my picture onto 140lb Arches cold press watercolor paper, that had been pre-stretched onto gatorboard. It is very difficult to control the colors on a poured painting, unless the paper is either heavy (300 lb or more), or stretched. The drawing on the paper works best if not very detailed. Any areas that are to remain white need to be clearly indicated. When Kris draws on her watercolor paper, She often uses transfer paper and a large "master" image, and only initially draws in the areas that will remain white. I tend to draw the whole thing, which requires me to be very careful about indicating the white areas.
Marsha Reeves is a watercolor painter living in Austin, Texas