Friday, March 20, 2009

Old work -- new thinking

One of the reasons I quit doing watercolour, was that
the medium was way too demanding. It wasn't that I
couldn't handle it, didn't love what happened with
colour and water, it just didn't get thick enough, sloop
enough -- and what you did was what you got!!! Period.

That is until I met Skip Lawrence, who'd think nothing
of dragging a tube of pure vermilion and squeezing out colour
over an already great watercolour. Americans I discovered
can be quite relaxed about using the paint straight from the
tube, because watercolours are so much cheaper than in
Canada. Here we dilute and water the stuff like crazy --
and call it style -- but I suspect our method is actually
cost driven. Skip would never leave any of the paper white
-- why? More colour please and his paintings are magnificent.

Winter scene class sketch
watercolour and acrylic on watercolour paper
(These split rail fences were once everywhere
in the Ontario countryside -- now most of them have
vanished, or are in poor condition)

Tonight on the first evening of spring -- with vestiges
of snow still dotting the landscape here and there,
especially north of the city, I thought I'd take an old
watercolour done in a class with the Canadian master,
Americo del Col, and doctor it. No! Yes! Plagued by a
bad case of resistance failure this otherwise pretty little
thing, had grungy patches where pure white snow was
meant to be. The resist liquid clung to the paper like limpets
on a rock. Not pretty. Bring on the white acrylic, lay it
over top , and presto -- no more ugly resistance mess.

Have a why-you're-looking-great! day.


r garriott said...

The shadows have such great colors in them! Nicely done!

Barbara Muir said...

Thanks R Garriott,

I'm glad you like it. It's an oldie, and now it's a goodie.

Take care,


julie davis said...

This one is striking--very dramatic, and the snow looks tremendous. Don't know what it looked like before, but it's wonderful now.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Julie,

Thanks so much. The snow on the fence was muddy with watercolour resist. I painted over the ugly resist that wouldn't come off with white acrylic, and it did the trick.
I'm glad you like it.

Take care,


Portrait Artist

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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