One of the more interesting aspects of reading art blogs is sharing, albeit from a distance, the process of creating art. The most interesting art blogs don’t just share finished work, but work in stages, and often the thought which goes on as the work progresses.

So it is with my friend, Nancy who is currently at work on a piece called “Afternoon at Cafe Fiore.” And while I’m enjoying watching this one take shape, the one I find really interesting is her Sunflowers piece.

It began here with a fairly static composition in watercolor, which is not her usual medium. By her next post on the subject, it was clear she was struggling with the way she was working. And then suddenly she seemed to find her step. At least I think so because what I’m seeing here is miles beyond the flat, static beginning. It’s got life and energy, and she’s given her colors free rein.

When I was learning to paint… wait, let me rephrase that: When I was attending painting classes, I had a teacher who I liked very much, but who was kind of a stickler for using media in the context of their physical qualities. Watercolors should be transparent and delicate, acrylics should be flat and bold, etc. And while I do get what she was trying to teach us — how to get the most out of your medium — I love watching people work with their media in ways which are not wholly conventional. I think Nancy has achieved that here in “Sunflowers.” Yes, there’s transparency and a looseness commonly associated with watercolor, but I think it goes well beyond traditional watercolor method in the vividness of her color and the strength of the line. I think it’s exciting.


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