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Shunpike Road #1

“Shunpike Road #1″ Watercolor 3.25″ x 10.25”

The creative process is a funny thing.  Each time I sit down with a blank piece of paper and some inspired idea the possibilities are endless and my final painting – in my mind anyway – will always (always) be a masterpiece.

And then the first stroke of paint is applied and decisions need to be made.  Some decisions are made based on my many years of painting experience using watercolor but most decisions are made intuitively.  In either case this painting… this masterpiece in-the-making takes on a life of its own.

My initial wash… that first paint to paper moment.

With this particular painting “Shunpike Road #1” I wanted to push color away from “local color.” The term “local color” mean the natural color of things without alteration.  Since I’d recently painted a winter landscape in local color only I had hoped to punch this one up with color not typical in a winter landscape.  The initial wash succeeds in a small way.  You see I’m a conservative painter most of the time and this initial wash was “wild” by my standards and I liked it.

The layering and building begins…

Once the layering and building continued that initial wash gets lost a bit and knowing when to stop is critical.  I pushed, painted, blotted and lost most of my beautiful under painting.  The building on the right distracted me and in my photo reference the building was not clearly visible and so I pushed and painted trying to push it back.  I’m not sure that was the best decision but that’s how we learn.

“Shunpike Road #1″ Watercolor 3.25″ x 10.25”

This is the final painting aptly named “Shunpike Road #1” because this scene is on Shunpike Road and #1 because I must paint it again and there will be a “Shunpike #2” and maybe a #3… We’ll see.  I will paint it again because the result isn’t what I was after when I started.  I free myself to paint and repaint the same subject and by allowing myself a “do-over” it frees me somehow to try and fail and try again.