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Trust the paint....and the water...and the pen....and the brush.

The watercolor and ink projects I'm engaged in now set my mind reeling to my old teachers and mentors from college and from my art teachers in China. Trust issues seem to be the common thread.

First, my illustration teacher encouraged me to draw with ink 'without a net,' or rather, without mapping out the drawing in pencil first. Difficult on deadline in children's illustration, but his point is well taken. The lines are fresher and the storytelling is lively....although I'm sure he could have said it better, God rest his soul.

A workshop he hosted with a well-known watercolor artist showed us the importance of letting the pigment wander into its places, creating unexpected values and color combinations. It means letting go a little bit. Again.

The Chinese calligraphers and flower/bird and mountain/tree landscape painters encouraged the use of the brush held back near the end, with most of the movement in the elbow. Also, they agreed that the pigment should wander through the prepared wet areas without being overly controlled.

Enter deadlines. All the insight and experience that they shared served those mentors well, and I'm thankful to have taken in some of their advice and direction so that it might be visible in my work....and so that I might be able to share it with my own students. Deadlines add another dimension. "Keep moving." they say, and know that the foundation laid by those thoughtful mentors is still there.

I only hope it shows in my work in some way.

Posted on Monday, June 24, 2013 at 09:40PM by Registered CommenterLon Eric Craven | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference

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