Ryan Zion: #1

So they don’t all end up working out the way I want. I really like the composition in this, which is thanks to Ryan Battles. (I didn’t do this photograph justice here, but I gave it a good shot.)

Last night I watched some show about Renoir and Monet. And it got me interested in experimenting with impressionism again. I definitely need more time practicing the style if I want to be successful with it. The aesthetic of an impressionistic or loose style is far more appealing to me than the aesthetic of a tight style, but doing impressionism well poses unique challenges. It seems take more confidence, more boldness, more chutzpah to paint well in a loose style. You can’t hide behind the slowly layered details, instead you have to slam the color here, whisper a shadow there, and elide light everywhere else. (I think I’m feeling poetic tonight.)

But then again, I like that about the loose style. Painting in a loose style is about feeling. Mood. Emotion. I’m not good at it – but I really like the introspection that comes with it.

When I do a lessons learned after painting in a tight style, like the leaves I just did, I comment about pigment, and technique, and order of glazes. But a write up after something in a loose style has me talking about feelings and insecurity.

A big part of my goal here is to show every step of my journey trying to learn how to paint in watercolor. And as much as I want to leave some of the failed paintings in a drawer, that’s the exact opposite of what I’m trying to do. I want this exercise to be the opposite of Instagram. Instead of only showing the perfect moments, I want to show the dirt too. This one – I guess it’s the artistic equivalent of a selfie where I’m hanging out in my sweatpants with Cheetos dust on my fingers.

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