So the September 30-in-30 Painting Challenge hosted by Leslie Saeta has ended and I managed to do 25/30 paintings for the month. That’s not too bad, actually, considering I had a mild art block in the middle of the month and then life happened for a bit there. I really did want to do the full 30 paintings but I’m satisfied with the ones I did complete. Right at the end of the month I tried a new technique that I really enjoyed (“Colorplay”) and I want to explore that further. I also did something new with the “Flow” series and plan to play around with that some more, especially if it means I can pull out my metallic/iridescent watercolors again. Those are fun to use.
I think overall, I was more focused this time around because I decided to work with a set painting size (4×6 and 5×7) and that let me not worry about the paper so much. It may seem silly, but sometimes I look at a larger piece of watercolor paper and think “what am I going to do with all this space?” Even with more purely abstract pieces like “flow” or the layered ‘scapes, it’s still hard to fill the space (and that includes negative space) without overwhelming the page or making it seem too busy. It’s a tough balance and I find it easier on smaller canvases. I want to go back to doing (slightly) larger pieces though, so I plan to keep working on that.
Here’s my collage of the 25 paintings I finished for this challenge. You can also see them on the 30-in-30 Challenges gallery page. I’m looking forward to trying again in January if Leslie hosts another one. In the meantime, I’m debating if I want to jump into INKtober again this year or take a break from trying to do a daily piece of art. I’m tempted because INKtober was what started me down the path of doing daily art and I had fun with it, but on the other hand, I just got off a challenge, so maybe a break? Or I can just do one piece a week, that could work too.
After the disaster that was day 6, I’m happy with my experiments for day 7. Another artist who’s work I really enjoy is Stephanie Law and she tends to incorporate spirals into her works in interesting ways. I’d been wanting to try something like that out and ended up making an attempt for today’s piece. It’s rough but I’m figuring things out as I go. This time my blacks actually resemble black (well.. more grey but close!) and I had fun working on how to do the spirals without just drawing a line. Plus, I got out my iridescent watercolors and added some bling to this piece.
Day 7 – “Midnight Sun”
Watercolor on paper
4″ x 6″
Another instance of not knowing where my titles come from. The reference is to a Science Fiction classic (which I’ve oddly not read) by Samuel R. Delaney, Stars in my Pocket like Grains of Sand. This is a merger between my Sun and Moon series and my Retro Circles series, plus it was rather fun to use such an unusual size at 6 x 18.
“And the Stars, Like Grains of Sand” Watercolor and pen on paper, 6″ x 18″
I think I have a thing for companion pieces. This one goes with my earlier “Sunset” painting, for obvious reasons. I changed it up a bit by placing the sun slightly off-center and changing the rays around.