Here is another little 6×6″ watercolor sketch. This one came together quickly. In the first sketch, I wanted to emphasize line and architecture: I was captivated as much by the transmission lines as I was by the house. This time I decided just to work the edges and build contrast with the brush rather than work back in with a pen. It was the subtle tonalities that attracted me to the scene, the cream colored porcelain interior of the lids, the shift from saturated to dark reds in the sides of the French ovens.
I tried to work quickly, I allowed the reality of the need to clean up the kitchen to drive this. When I saw the composition, it was just that. A glimpse; the graphic shape of the two pots stacked, the differences in the reds of the tea towel and the pots. I really love the idea of sketching from life, working on location, capturing the light and the scene as it happens, and I know that my desire to be a careful draftsman may work against that, and this was an initial exercise for me to speed up while retaining my desire to capture detail.
Part of what I would like to do with this blog is capture the process as I begin to paint. There is a tremendous amount tied up in this. Firstly, the idea of “start where you are”, and how tightly connected with the concept of minimalism that is: that we do not lack, nor do we need to acquire in order to experience. We have been told time and time again that there is something to grasp for, that what we have and where we are is inadequate. “Oh, if I were along the banks of the Seine in Paris, I would paint…”. That we have to be in the place which some how the collective psyche merits worthy, we have to purchase some thing or attain some membership or some degree to be taken seriously. Not just that, but to allow ourselves to participate. I want to tear that concept down.
I chose to start on New Years Day. After I ate breakfast, I didn’t move. I put pencil to paper. The photographer in me, the editor, chose what to dis-include, but beyond that this is an act of reportage. This is how the urban world looks. I like the fact that the power pole, the transformer, and the power lines are there. These things do not reduce my experience of the house behind it, rather they set it in its locational and temporal context.
Packaged up along with this is my sense of vulnerability. I have produced photography for clients since January 1990. I have certain expectations for my own work, and what I am willing to publish on the web with my name on it is framed by concerns of personal branding, a desire to land the next job, the next client. I want to remove all of that and capture this process as I learn to see differently and learn to draw and paint. I have not set pencil to paper with intention since middle school. That probably means I have never set pencil to paper with intention to have anyone else see–to communicate.
Here it is: a first effort. New Year’s Day 2017, watercolor and ink on paper. 6″x6″.