I’ve been thinking a lot about how my paint (Creative Process, How Does One Create?). In my quest to be able to paint my own feelings, I have looked at the work of Joan Miró (and his use of icons), Paul Klee (and his theories about the creative process) and Hans Hofmann (and his ‘push pull’ theory in the creation of three dimensional space with the use of color only). I found I got bogged down in the effort to understand theories without the benefit of feedback from a teacher.
Recently, I have thrown caution (and theories) to the wind and have been painting using visual feedback from the previous stroke to determine the next one. The Scientist Enrico Coen and the Art Historian, Ernst Gombrich have each described creativity in these terms (Two Takes, How Does One Create?).
The only trouble is, I have been starting with the same mark – a blue brush stroke – over and over again.
Today’s watercolor experiment:
For something (nearly) completely different, I started today’s composition with white conte chalk on my white paper. The not-so-different part was that I drew spirals, with the idea of tornadoes in mind. Since I had been painting tornado-looking studies for the past few days, I look at this starting point as having some continuity with previous work.
My first scribbling with the white chalk was in the lower right portion of the composition. Nothing unusual happened when I painted over it with Naples Yellow (M. Graham). However, when I painted the central part of the paper with neutral tint, I was very exited to see that the white lines were left untouched! I played around with highlighting the inner concavities of the arcs with a left-over blue from my palette (probably Peacock Blue (Holbein)). After the central grayish mass with white chalk and opposite Naples Yellow corners dried, I used brown conte chalk to reprise the spirals. I painted the inner parts of the brown chalk arcs with cadmium orange.
The color reproduction above is a bit lighter than the original study. The upper middle tint is much more gray. However, as you can see, there are some blemishes and stray marks that I would like to work on. In addition, I would like the central dark mass to be a more obvious triangular shape. At least that’s what my visual feedback is telling me now.