|My latest watercolour painting - September 2018|
I painted this picture at the end of September - so before my wappy paint-researching-and-buying spree, and after the post in which I announced that perhaps I hated painting, because I certainly don't seem to get a great deal of joy out of it.
It took me five consecutive days to complete, painting for a couple of hours each morning. I set no goals, other than to simply paint. I let it take me as long as it wanted to take, and I took my time and slowed the whole process down. I also kept it simple, using only three colours - burnt umber, raw sienna, and French ultramarine blue.
Nor did I have the stress of trying to match my colour scheme to that of the original photograph, because the photo was in black and white. And, for once, I didn't confuse matters for myself, and drive myself into delirious indecisive distraction, by referring to all of the accumulated printouts I have of innumerable paint colours and possible mixing combinations.
I have to report that, remarkably, all these conditions together appear to have worked to produce a miracle, and I actually enjoyed this painting experience. It seems that giving myself the freedom to voice the disquieting thought that I might not like painting after all, allowed me to make a shift from my entrenched position - hopefully not just temporarily.
I also spent less time criticising what I was doing, or the end product. In fact, I actually really like this painting. It represents a deliberate change in the way I'm trying to paint now - more flow, less rigid control; layering and mixing paint on the paper rather than in the palette; choosing colours I like, rather than trying to replicate those of the subject; trying to paint what I see and feel, rather than the pull of photorealism, and trying to paint what I think I should be seeing.
All of which is quite remarkable for me - the woman for whom change comes at the speed of a tortoise wearing concrete boots. It's only taken me about seven years of painting to start to break free of the rigid rules I've been confined to trying to follow. Hopefully it won't take that long for the next change!
I guess if I stop trying to follow what other people say and do (with my dodgy autistic interpretation skills), which is what has impeded my progress, and trust in my own ability and God's guidance, then I might evolve a bit quicker. I surely can't get any slower - other than to come to a complete standstill.