Monday, April 18, 2011

loosening up

watercolors
I seem to have lost my writing mojo. And since the past week's activities included eleventh hour tax frustrations and a weekend full of ripping weeds (with thorns!) out of our overgrown yard, I'd say that's a good thing. No one wants to read or write about taxes or yardwork. So more photos it is...

Luckily, I'm on a productive and creative streak with my artwork. I've been giving the lino printing a rest (it's just pissing me off frustrating me lately) and experimenting with rubber block printing and watercolor.

I've had the idea for some abstract watercolor paintings in my head, and the idea reached urgency this morning, so I busted out my watercolors. It's been a long time since I've used watercolors. They can be a very frustrating medium if you're out of practice. Mistakes are almost impossible to fix. In college, I used watercolor for architectural sketches all the time, and I got pretty comfortable with them. But it's been a while.
watercolors
watercolors
watercolors
It can be a challenge to create watercolor paintings to my taste/style - bold, saturated, and modern. All too often watercolor paintings are cutesy or hotel art-ish. Please, no watercolor still-lifes of lilies in a vase. Gah.

I like watercolors because they're loose, free, and often provide unexpected results...and lately I've needed to loosen up a bit a lot. So loose, bold, modern, here we go...Take 1:
watercolors
watercolor
(Not exactly as loose as I was hoping. Unclench your fist, Rachel. Unfurrow your brow...)

Then I noticed that I liked the scrap piece of paper I was using to test my brush strokes better than the final piece. This happens to me all the time. Quite often my doodles or process sketches are far superior to the final work. Why is that - fewer inhibitions and less fear of messing up?
watercolors
watercolors
(A new bookmark? Way prettier than that Safeway receipt for Bud Light and hot dogs...)

Even the paper towel I was using to blot the brush is beautiful:
watercolors
I tried to create a painting based on my watercolor doodles...and it looked like a kiddie birthday party. Fail:
watercolors
So then I went really simple and loose - solid color circles in ocean blue and bright gold. Loving these:
watercolors
watercolors
watercolors
(Wouldn't these make pretty fabrics?)

I'm definitely going to keep at this - I have lots more ideas for abstract patterns, and watercolor is really working for me right now, though I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the paintings yet. Sell the originals? Or have them reproduced and sell giclee prints? This was one of my goals for Funnelcloud Studio for 2011 - but I still haven't found a printer yet (ahem, because I haven't looked).
watercolors
watercolors

6 comments:

Juanita said...

Those would rock as wallpaper!

P.S. I wouldn't mind reading about yardwork :-)

Pickles and Dimes said...

Beautiful! They almost look like lace patterns...

Amanda said...

Love these! Did you paint the watercolour on to the stamp or did you dip the stamp?

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Amanda - sorry, I wasn't clear! The watercolors are just traditional paintings done with a paintbrush. The rubber stamps were a different project that I did last week (the blueberries and onion prints) using ink.

Juanita - Ha! You may get to read about yardwork as we have a lot of yard projects to work on this spring, and if we ever finish any of them, I'm sure they will end up on the blog!

Michael - Innkeeper said...

omg. just love these!

the orange circle pattern - adore! i have a 'vision' for one of my guest room ... a pink and orange inspired room. this would make a killer fabric choice!

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Thanks! I wanted to do pink and orange but I couldn't get the colors mixed right. I just got some tubes of gouache in the right colors and am trying to psych myself up to paint a huge circle painting...we'll see how it goes!