Monday, August 30, 2010

Abstract Watercolor

I have been experimenting for a couple of weeks with watercolors, trying to paint abstractly. This has been a difficult journey, and I find that fact very fascinating. I work abstractly in other mediums, but I have always painted realistically in watercolor. I think my mental roadblock comes from "that is the way I learned to paint with watercolors". It sounds cliche, but I honestly think that is the issue.

In the last couple of days I finally finished an abstract watercolor that I love. The colors and shapes in this painting are evocative of the seasonal creek at my artist residency in Texas in March --- the leaves floating down the creek, the rocks just barely below the surface of the water, and the sunlight playing on all the surfaces. I feel a huge sense of accomplishment. It's almost like I have been painting in my instructor's shadow all this time, and now I have finally made the medium mine.

10 comments:

Rayna said...

The beauty of this painting, Karen, is that while you see the creek, it is abstract enough so that your viewers can bring their own stories to the painting. A fine accomplishment, having mastered the medium and made it your own. Love it!

Carol Blackburn said...

Absolutely beautiful and a piece you must be proud of. Sort of a coming out piece in that the veil has lifted and medium shows you what you've always known, your talent is obvious.

Ruth Powers said...

Very nice! I have trouble working with abstracts, too so I can appreciate your accomplishment. I especially like the leaves you did earlier. Congrats on the review on the Textile Blog!!

bailey said...

The really fun part of this abstract piece is that since I don't have a "scene" in front of me I am free to just roam and roam around the painting picking out new things each time I look. Every time I go back to it, I find some other part of it to love. I don't have to make it a whole...I am free to enjoy all the elements...equally...I might add. What a visual joy.

Gerrie said...

I have an abstract watercolor that I purchased at an art show. I was intrigued with her ability to create such a beautiful scene that could be interpreted in many ways, as Rayna says. I love the limited color palette that you have used.

June said...

Beautifully done, in a difficult medium. I often find watercolor paintings a bit, well, squishy, without the contrasts and tightness of oils. But this one achieves all those elements and manages the abstract composition besides. Nice job.

Karen Stiehl Osborn said...

Thanks, everyone It was definitely a struggle and a learning curve, but also a direction that I want to explore more.

George De Chiara said...

Great job Karen! You've got a great design with this one. I love how the shapes seem to cast shadows onto each other and the subtle color variations.

Leslie Tucker Jenison said...

A lovely painting! In looking at it one would never guess the struggle that you overcame in creating an abstract interpretation of the scene.
Very inspiring. It may be time for me to pick up my own watercolors, as it has been awhile.
Leslie

Lisa said...

I love the play of light and dark on your abstract, so very interesting to study.

Lisa Kay