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.  🙂

Another New Work on Paper: Octopus’s Garden

“Octopus’s Garden” Watercolor on heavy Raffine sketch paper 6″ x 5.75″ © 2013 Marilyn Fenn
“Octopus’s Garden” Watercolor on heavy Raffine sketch paper 6″ x 5.75″ © 2013 Marilyn Fenn

Here’s another new one this week continuing in the sort of hippie theme.  🙂

I feel like I’m on a roll, and it feels great!

My husband said something the other day that has had me tickled ever since.  He said basically something like, if I weren’t doing these little paintings, they wouldn’t exist.  They could only come from my own particular take on the world.  So, yay me!

I think that’s true of all artists (of all flavors – painters, musicians, writers, etc.) who are following their inner need to create, rather than trying to respond to the marketplace.  I think of all the painters, writers, and musicians without whom the world would be a much poorer place.  Too bad our society makes it so hard for artists to survive by doing their art.

So, if you are an artist, keep that in mind: you are (hopefully) adding something of beauty or importance to the world by following your true creative voice, something that would not be in the world without your endeavors.  🙂

Anyway, I have taken forever to find that thing inside that needs expression, and of course, it keeps developing.  I’m glad I started with representation, but I’m even more glad that I’ve moved past that.  I’m really grooving on these shapes, compositions, and color combinations that I discover by the drawing and painting of them.  Something like these little painting studies will probably make it onto large canvases in oil, and I’m really looking forward to that, too, but I may not be done with this round of little studies yet.

So here is another original work from the slightly twisted mind of yours truly.  🙂

New Ink Sketch: Neptunian Cactus

"Neptunian Cactus" Not-So-Daily-Drawing-004 5" x 7" Ink on watercolor paper © 2011 Marilyn Fenn
“Neptunian Cactus” Not-So-Daily-Drawing-004 5″ x 7″ Ink on watercolor paper © 2011 Marilyn Fenn

Here’s the first of several new ink sketches I’ve been working on since I awoke yesterday. Not sure if the colors translate accurately.

Now back to working on tax info. 🙁

New Drawing: 1-1-11

"The Imp of the Perverse 001" Ink and watercolor on Yupo paper 8.5" x 11.5" © 2011 Marilyn Fenn
“The Imp of the Perverse 001″ Ink and watercolor on Yupo paper 8.5″ x 11.5” © 2011 Marilyn Fenn

This is my first completed drawing/painting of the year, completed on 1-1-11.  I’m returning to working with ink, something I’ve spent many years doing since at least high school, but this time I’m trying out some experimental techniques.  I’m also exploring depicting patterns like those seen in the skin of giraffes and sea turtles.

New Work: Mega Tornado!

"Tornado - Stoughton, WI - August 18, 2006” Encaustic on Masonite 8″ x 10″ © 2007 Marilyn Fenn
“Tornado – Stoughton, WI – August 18, 2006” Encaustic on Masonite 8″ x 10″ © 2007 Marilyn Fenn

I actually started this one prior to the one in the previous post (below). This was the first of the tornado paintings painted into a rough and very absorbent watercolor paper mounted on Masonite.

This is also one of those paintings that was rockin’ in a way after my initial painting session, but one tiny area wasn’t quite right, and in changing that area, I ended up changing and repainting pretty much the entire painting several times before arriving at this. In the initial painting, the wax had soaked deeply into the watercolor paper in a fascinating, beautiful, and unexpected way, and so looked far more like a slightly shiny watercolor painting than like my other encaustics.

So I discovered yet another way to work with encaustics. I love it and hope to retain that sense of watercolor-y patchiness in a future painting (that effect did not quite survive the several re-paintings).