What's Hard About Art?

I love to make art. Here are the steps that I go through to make a watercolor.

1.) With my camera, I take a photo that I like (both in subject matter and composition). (Occasionally, I will be given a photo. I have also emailed people online to ask if I can do a painting of a photo of theirs that I like; I can't say that anyone has written me back, though. Oh, well. I have plenty to paint as it is.)

2.) Use Photoshop to enhance the aspects of the photo that I like best and convert it into a black and white line drawing using filters. Print fairly small on printer paper.

3.) Draw the boundaries of intended painting onto very rough, very heavy watercolor paper or sometimes onto a watercolor block. Tape around the boundary with painter's tape or masking tape.

4.) Set up my enlarger and trace what I can see of the drawing using a soft pencil. Occasionally, I "embellish" as I go if I think it is needed.

5.) Get out my kneaded eraser and remove all but the faintest of the pencil lines that I just drew. (I know...I could use a lighter pencil, but then the lead would be harder and would "dent" or scratch the paper. I have issues.)

6.) Paint. Let dry.

7.) Remove tape. Erase boundary lines.

8.) Title the artwork and sign.

9.) Frame or shrink-wrap artwork

10.) Put a price on the artwork

Which step do you think is the hardest? It would have to be either 8. or 10.

Because I paint primarily from photos that I took, I know where they were taken. I could name them after the place, and sometimes I do that, but I wonder if that ties them so much to that one place that someone who might like the painting, but have no emotional or sentimental tie to the place decided not to buy it. Sometimes, I name a piece of artwork after a mood it conveys. I am especially fond of phrases (ex. - Rainy Morn, Toward Georgetown). It sometimes takes days to decide what to call a piece. I supposed that I could stop putting the title on the piece itself (on the actual paper), but that seems a cop out. I like for them to have names.

As far as pricing, that is hard too. I wish I could keep all of my paintings, but that is sort of like trying to eat all of the zucchini or tomatoes from your garden by yourself. At some point, something has to go. I take into consideration, the amount of time spent on a piece and its size and then I price them at the point where if someone loves them enough to buy them, I am willing to let them go. It is a tremendous feeling to sell artwork! I hope all who have bought mine enjoy it daily.


Flocculation, Granulation and Oozies

A few days ago, I went by my favorite frame supply store to pick up some acid-free foam core for matting artwork. I had several paintings on full size watercolor sheets to shrink-wrap and could not remember what the dimensions were, so I used my phone to Google it. I ended up on the Wikipedia page about watercolor painting. Granted, the last instruction I received in watercolor was from Mrs. Markle in 1990 or so, but I learned several things.....

I found out that techniques that I incorporate have names! One of my favorite colors to use is cerulean blue because of the "granulation." This is where you can see the pigment particles. I also learned that the effects of ultramarines is called "flocculation."

The capillary action of watercolor when I paint "wet in wet" is the reason that I love it. I never tire of watching the paint move into wet areas and "bloom" (also called backruns, blossoms or oozies); I enjoy adding additional water or wicking paint off the paper back into the brush to manipulate where the color goes. It was fun learning some new terms for what I've been doing for years!

Oh, and a standard full sheet is 22"X 30".