Abstract 122214

I’m glad that there will be more and more daylight hours starting today. (As many of you know, I write my blogs the day before, for posting at midnight the following day, so I am referring to December 22.) I always think of my father on this day every year, as this was his birthday. Mom told me that Dad used to draw, but never really pursued it. He was more interested in music. He did copy some portraits of composers from a music book. I have them somewhere.

Today’s watercolor experiment:

I took DaVinci’s advice the other day. He said, “Those who are in love with practice without knowledge are like the sailor who gets into a ship without rudder or compass and who never can be certain [where] he is going. …”  My interpretation of this statement is to always have a goal when one practices.


Today, as I sometimes do, I throw caution to the wind and actually have nothing in mind when I start to paint. This is particularly true when I use my liquid latex to drip onto my watercolor paper in preparation for an abstract composition. I like to think that I will make sense of the drip pattern at a later time.

Today I dripped from great height – actually only about a foot or two. I was hoping for a little splash action. I should either get a step stool or get some splashier latex.

I did have some colors in mind, to wash over the dried latex resist. I began with a cerulean blue at the top and a transparent orange-yellow on the bottom portion of the paper. With thorough drying between stages, I used several different shades of blue (turquoise, Prussian, indanthrone) to glaze over the original cerulean. At the top I used a transparent perinone orange to glaze over the yellow. Underneath the orange, separated by an island of latex, I splashed some cadmium red light.

After removing the latex, I painted the drips, some with some colors complementary and others closer in tone to the background.

I like this composition with the original top portion at the bottom, for some reason.

Watercolor: Abstract using drips of liquid latex

Abstract 122214
9″x12″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block


I do like the idea of gaining inspiration from what I see in front of me, as opposed to practicing with a purpose in mind. It is possible to do both. Both are possible and necessary, for me, at least. Both techniques exercise different mental muscles, each hopefully yielding pleasing results.

I am sorry that my father never pursued his visual arts. That would have been a good window into how he saw the world.

2 thoughts on “Abstract 122214

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