They Can’t All Be Perfect

"Wheeeee!" - Watercolor and gouache on heavy Raffine paper - 5.25" x 5.5" - © 2013 Marilyn Fenn
“Wheeeee!” Watercolor and gouache on heavy Raffine paper 5.25″ x 5.5″ © 2013 Marilyn Fenn

From earlier this month — I almost had to throw this one away, but I think I more or less saved this watercolor with the judicious addition of a bit of gouache…and more stuff!
FWIW

Recovering a Watercolor Painting – “Dunk”

"Dunk" - Washed watercolor on 100 lb. Raffine paper - 6" x 5.75" - © 2013 Marilyn Fenn
“Dunk” Washed watercolor on 100 lb. Raffine paper 6″ x 5.75″ © 2013 Marilyn Fenn

The problem with working in watercolor is if you get the colors wrong, there’s not a lot you can do to fix it.  Initially, I got the colors wrong on this one.  I had painted the webby type stuff in the background twice, ending up with a kind of burnt sienna (red-brown) color on the third layer of webbery.  Not only did it clash with the more jewel like colors of the foreground imagery, but it made the whole piece very busy, and you couldn’t really distinguish foreground from background.

Sooooo, I tried lifting the color with water (didn’t work well), then lightly with a sponge (nope), then with a bit of light and careful scrubbing with a sponge (better), and finally, I gave up all hope of making this piece work and washed it under running water.

Yes, I washed a watercolor painting.  It’s on paper, you know.  This is why I love the heavy Raffine “sketch” paper I’m using; it’s tough!  And has a lovely texture.  🙂

I took care not to pill the paper as I lightly helped some of the paint off of it, let it dry, and then had to repaint most of the foreground “characters,” while adding a third.  And now I rather like it.

Hope I don’t get myself into this predicament again, but if I do, I know what to do now.

Ear Worms – We Will Not Let You Go (Let Me Go)

"Ear Worms - We Will Not Let You Go (Let Me Go)" - Watercolor pencils on 100 lb. Raffine paper - 6" x 5.75" - © 2013 Marilyn Fenn
“Ear Worms – We Will Not Let You Go (Let Me Go)” Watercolor pencils on 100 lb. Raffine paper 6″ x 5.75″ © 2013 Marilyn Fenn

After the crazy looseness and unpredictability of the Fraccidental series, my fingers itched for a bit of tightness, and this is what happened.  Named after the earworm running through my head during the entire creation of this piece.

Fraccidental Painting Series

"Fraccidental Painting 010" - Watercolor and ink on watercolor paper - 7" x 5" - © 2013 Marilyn Fenn
“Fraccidental Painting 010″ Watercolor and ink on watercolor paper 7″ x 5” © 2013 Marilyn Fenn

A few weeks ago, I started 3 new series of very small works on paper.  The first series I’m calling “Fraccidental Paintings.”  Well, they’re not really the first in this series, because I did about 4 of these in 2011.

I’m using watercolor and inks and a variety of other media on very wet paper, and the inks do really cool fractally things when they hit the paper (hence the title of the series).

Working this way is kind of like when I worked in encaustic: there are some things I have control over and some things I don’t.  I should buy a video camera, so I can shoot this process; it’s really cool the way the pigments in the various media interact, and I especially like watching that moment when the ink overcomes a certain resistance and suddenly floods into the wetness of the paper.  🙂

One More New Painting: Yabbadabbadabacus!

“Yabbadabbadabacus!” Watercolor on heavy Raffine sketch paper 5.75″ x 6″ © 2013 Marilyn Fenn
“Yabbadabbadabacus!” Watercolor on heavy Raffine sketch paper 6″ x 5.75″ © 2013 Marilyn Fenn

I started 3 more small sketches for watercolor paintings in the last day or two, erased one of them, ignored the second, and painted only this one.  This didn’t turn out quite the way I envisioned, but I like it anyway, and it is inspiring a new set of oil paintings that I hope will be rather successful, but we’ll all have to wait and see on that.  🙂