I decided to try that painting again. I was going to try some exercises with back runs, and water, but before I knew it I was painting. So… here it is.

There are some things that I really like here, and some things I definitely want to do differently. But, I think I’m done with this scene, because I’m getting bored with it, so I will move on.

Because I didn’t bother taking progress photos, I don’t have much in the way of a step by step, nor do I think doing that for every painting is really worth while any more. At first, I needed to do this in order to capture techniques that were successful, but now I am finding that process to be more of a chore than anything.

So, I don’t know what these posts will be for each painting any more, but I don’t think I’ll be making step by step posts – it’s just a little too much interruption during the painting process.

Today’s painting was a really interesting learning experience for me. I realized that I tend to try to control watercolor too much. When I was painting the grass, I was trying to very carefully define where a tiny strip of highlights would be, and a thin line for the shore line. I was being so meticulous, and wasn’t getting the results I wanted. Finally, I just charged my brush with some bright yellow and added a stroke, and let go… I just let it do whatever it wanted, and I loved the result.

I understood then for a moment what artists say when they say that they just “let it do its thing.” I need to feel it out more, but I got the feeling at that moment that I was one of two artists working on the painting. I choose some things, and the water chose some things. But not trying to force the water into the corners I wanted to prescribe, I ended up with something better than I had in my mind.

That moment of clarity didn’t hang around through the rest of the painting, I started fighting the water again when I tried to paint the pond, and I pulled out some white gouache to test it out on the rocks and barn. (I like what it did for the barn, but I got too heavy-handed for the rocks.) So, while it was really important for me to experience that feeling of being half of the equation in a painting, I wasn’t able to keep that harmony forever. I think that is a moment I should strive for more and more often.

Anyway – here’s today’s painting again: