Orchid Study #1


Watercolor, 20″ x 14″

There is nothing more exciting than a well painted watercolor, which is why I continue to try with this subtle and sensitive medium, despite so many disasters over the years. My dysfunctional relationship with this soulful paint is to pick up a brush and immerse in it for a week or two, and then give up in frustration and leave it for a year, or two, or three…yet here I am again, enjoying the slow quiet process of it, with little to show for it but mud and garish overworked rejects.

This time around I am especially determined as I’m teaching a block on Watercolor Flowers, so have been studying watercolor artists’ work for a few weeks now in an attempt to break it down to step-by-step basics. If I can instruct in the foundation at least (and so far the students’ work is divine), then perhaps I too will learn something and have a breakthrough. I bought an orchid last week, and for the last week I’ve done near to a dozen studies of it, all beginning with promise and ending in disappointment. Yesterday I changed the palette, and that has helped, as the hues are more subtle and these new colors are non-staining, which has been SO much more forgiving. This one has come together better than the others. Still not there as a good watercolor, but I can see I’m learning, slowly. And it’s given me inspiration to continue with this subject and palette, and I can see a triptych emerging.

I’m enjoying the time and still hopeful that one day this medium will be a more natural and expressive conduit, as not only is good watercolor (a rare sight to behold) so gorgeous, but it’s also a relatively quick medium which promises to be a great way of working out ideas for large canvases in oils. I know this has been a traditional approach for many artists over the centuries, but not one I’ve ever used, and I think it would greatly benefit my work, so well worth the time investment to get it right…



One thought on “Orchid Study #1

  1. Beautiful, cool and delicate


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