Monday, July 20, 2009

Revellation - painting loose

When I began watercolour painting a few years ago, I was tortured by the process.
I was haunted by fear of failure. I was anxiety ridden for fear I would unintentionally ruin my work. And the more obcessed I was with failure, the slower and more deliberately I painted.

One of my instructors, plucked a small brush from my hand and told me: "get rid of that damned thing." "Paint with a bigger brush."

Its easier to tell a new painter to paint loose then for the newcomer to do so. And why?

Its a matter of confidence. Beginning painters who are outcomes obcessed - paint with a controlling hand.

I was surprised when I began to hear people tell me, "I love your loose."
I cannot remember a single day, in which I turned a switch and made the decision to paint loosely.

As I became increasingly confident, my interest was less fixated upon the results and more upon the process of art. The journey became more exciting then arriving at the station.

I use a lot of water when I paint. And, the more water I use, the less control I have.
I see myself as a tour guide, managing the flow. (as if that's entirely possible). The more the water does its own thing, the looser my works become.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Muted scene--still water and beautiful light...
    I like what I see!!!

  3. I LOVE what you've said -- as well as your work ... After 3 1/2 years of painting daily, I am still struggling mightily with 'looseness' and 'quit-fiddling-with-it-ness' ...but every once in a magical while, it happens, and the painting is loose, light, just as I had hoped ... I suppose it will be that 1,000s of paintings that finally makes the transition ... but I do think I'm getting closer. Your words comfort me and encourage me to stop trying so hard ... and just let it happen ... by keeping at it! Bless you!


  4. Painting looks good, loososity abounds...


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