I came across the most curious discussion. I searched for a watercolorist presentation and discussion group on one of the popular artistic media websites. What I stumbled into was an intense debate on the subject of “who *really* is an artist.”
It started with a discussion over whether a piece of work which was predominately watercolors but also included some ink lines was *really* watercolor art? That moved on to discussions concerning *how much* of the work was ink and how much watercolors (ah, the artist ink police!). Not stopping there, the discussion went one about whether one should use a pencil sketch as an underdrawing, and if one did were they *really* a watercolor painter.
That wasn’t the end. The next subject concerned why watercolorists represented only about 10% of the marketable art world. (Internecine fighting would be my answer) Another way to interpret that was “are watercolors really art?”
So here’s what comes to mind. Watercolors in basic sets are available to most kindergarten children, just as water-soluble finger paints are available. The argument seems to be that if the medium is available at the kindergarten level, anything produced with that medium is probably not *serious art.*
Oh balderdash (I cleaned that up). The result can be art regardless of how it is produced. I would tell my new colleagues to stop trying to be so full of themselves, or to paraphrase Laura Ingraham — shut up and paint, don’t worry about what you use.
Every now and then I need to produce a post which shows potential buyers how to find the formatted pdf files from which they can produce their own A2 sized (e.g. Avery 8315) notecards. I have them on sellfy and although these are not hot linked, the link is listed correctly in this screenshot. Here for example is the hotlink to “Old Glory.” And this link may show you the complete product catalog. Read the descriptions carefully because some of the products are pdf files for full-sized photos.
As I noted in my previous posts, I am really having a challenge with selection a true watercolor technique with which I am comfortable. So far, my efforts are somewhat frustrating – showing promise, but not quite ready for prime time if you catch my drift.
Meanwhile, as images come to mind, I found that I am getting much better at simulating the watercolor wet on wet effect digitally. Starting with Photoshop elements, a mouse, and a new white photoshop “canvas” and background layer, I was able to create this image. A larger version is here.
Sometime around 1965 I took an undergraduate course entitled “Introduction to Modern Art” (I know that surprises those who are familiar with my subsequent career in computer science). The paper I had to write as part of the studies was on Spanish artist Joan Miro. I got the clever idea to produce a really catchy title page by including a representation of one of the amoeba like shapes Miro included in some of his works. In making that representation I did not make a solid outline, but instead scrunched up the shape something like a kidney bean getting ready to spit out a watermelon seed. My instructor graded my paper as perfect, but nicked me a half a grade over the tiny, nearly microscopic, gap in the shape’s outline.
I have spent 52 years thinking I had been “wronged” – that the error was so minor as to not detract from the intent, cleverness, or content. As I experiment with various watercolor techniques to render my first true painting – the Spanish mission noted in my previous post – I decided to try color wash over an ink outline drawing. When I finished the drawing I could not help but notice the places where I got “sloppy” with the pen and did not complete the lines correctly. I decided I need to re draw the item, and that my old art instructor was right after all — in a drawing little details mean a lot.
Well, for those of you who have followed these posts, I got off into graphite (pencil) sketching to try to learn composition and shading for my photography work, then moved into colored pencils to add a bit of ‘pizazz’ to the drawings. Then for whatever reason possessed me I did two things: (1) I now have the ability to focus stack which I want to do with landscapes, and (2) I have ventured off into painting. Well painting is a bit of an overstatement. What I did was practice with digital art in various fashions, then try to move to acrylics with about an even split of good and bad technique results. So now, of course, I am on my way to trying watercolors. These are the images I have produced digitally (using photoshop brushes and pens), and the Spanish Mission one will be attempted in watercolors. So stay tuned …
I had the pleasure of meeting Clyde Butcher at the Mainsail Arts Festival in St. Petersburg, Florida in the early 1990s I believe. Clyde was just beginning to get some exposure for his superb work in black and white capturing south Florida landscapes. Later I recall reading a comment by Clyde that when he first started as a photographer he realized his “art” work wasn’t selling, so he paired it up with a clock mechanism. I guess his theory was that a buyer did not necessarily want a fine art photo from an unknown photographer, but might be willing to buy a clock for the wall which just happened to have the photographer’s work in the background.
Now if you have read some of my posts, you realize I do not consider myself a practitioner of “fine” arts at all — perhaps I am more of a crafter, fashioning what I consider a pleasing image from both the camera work and the digital darkroom.
But I have stumbled on featuring the work I do on useful (more or less) decor objects: items like beach towels, tote bags, smartphone cases, and the like. I thought I might resent having to do that sort of thing, but it turns out I really enjoy it.
For example – I feature this image in square format for some objects and in 2:1 aspect for others. I think it makes an extremely attractive beach or poolside towel, and in square format a beach tote.
Some buyer interest has developed in decor items using my colorized public domain images of classic yachts. Click here to see an image of the Valkyrie, an America’s Cup yacht, as seen on a throw pillow. The image is one of my favorites.
The buyer can also manipulate the image somewhat with the slider so that more of less of it can be printed on the item.
I have several of these colorized yacht images, and in fact I personally print them on canvas mounted on a frame for my own gallery work.