Today’s watercolor experiment:
I usually post a warmup exercise before I perform my experiment. Today, my warmup exercise and experiment are one and the same. I continue to pursue the elusive blot.
The advice in the book from which I am learning (the Tate Watercolour Manual, Lessons from the Great Masters by Tony Smibert and Joyce Townsend) was to continue playing with blots. They suggest using different kinds of brushes and to blot with a purpose. That is, instead of randomly smudging and scrunching the brush around the paper, scrunch and smudge in shapes that resemble the intended subject. Today that subject is trees.
I used my fan brush for the first time since I bought it (aside from a test run). I used three different pigments in this study. The first was burnt umber, which I applied with the fan brush. I laid down burnt sienna and neutral tint atop the original fan brush marks. Finally, I used pen and ink to scribble outlines on the tree-like blots.
The blotwork above was inspired by Alexander Cozens‘ blot paintings. While they are inspiring, they paralyze me. I am sure there is more than one reason for this but for now, I attribute paralysis to the manner in which I view his work: on my computer. There is a hierarchy of ways to look at art. For me, the bottom tier is via the computer screen, followed by glossy books with black and white renderings of color artwork (I hate that); next is art printed on high quality paper. Finally, the best way to look at artwork is to look at the original, at a gallery or museum or other venue.
Until I get my book about Cozens, I will get my inspiration as best I can from the internet.