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Here you will find adventures in painting. . . . Victories, absolute defeats, frustrations, highs, lows, lessons learned, commentary and thoughts from me and other artists.

As an art instructor, I don't wish to hide the fact that I crash and burn often. I will always be learning. So, it all gets shown here . . .good and bad. Every painting we do counts in the learning and experience process. The failures actually are much better teachers than successes. Every piece made is a teacher. That's the fun of it: the challenge to learn.


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Monday, August 22, 2011

Time Crunch and Demo

Watercolor 15 x 22 inches

This last few weeks has been unbelievably busy!! And I have been gone . . . .teaching . . .officiating . . .more teaching . . . .

I returned home from Sacramento, California, where I had given a 5 day workshop "Watercolor Beyond the Obvious," and near exhausted myself in the process. I awakened Saturday morning in a panic . . . I had to give a demo THAT AFTERNOON for a local art store who had just taken on Daniel Smith Watercolor Pigments. I hadn't prepared at all. What is more I hadn't touched a paint brush since my last post . . . surely over a month had passed.

To the studio! I had to rally . . .big time! Coffee in hand and nothing in my mind as to what to do or how to do it . . . . . .I grabbed my trusty sketch book and opened it to the first image that made any sense and began to paint. I had around three hours to get ready.

Demos can be a problem for me because I freeze up. I never know what I should paint or what sort of methods I should demo. The set up usually dictates a specific way to paint, too. That is either with or without an overhead mirror. The mirror allows the watercolor painter to lay his or her board flat or paint at a slight incline. Without one, the painter is destined to use an easel and paint vertically to the audience can see. And that is not how I usually paint. Well, you guessed it . . . . .there would not be a mirror. So, I was in a stew, wondering if I could pull it off.

Anyway . . . . .I went . . . .some 60 people were there with standing room only! This was the demo painting . . . . ."Sunny."

The best thing to do is to relax, I suppose, and just let whatever is going to happen happen. It is sort of like working in your own studio. Cut the worry and just be present with the paint. It was fun to commiserate with the audience about the design decisions and to cut up a bit. They were a terrific crowd!

After it was finished, I had concentrated so hard, I couldn't get the silly thing out of my head. So, on Monday, I went to the studio and opened a can of crazy! Yep! I went there and painted three completed paintings . . . .and they all came out okay. More about those later. But I haven't had that much fun in the studio for a long time!!!! Whooopeeee!~


Studio at the Farm said...

Wow, Mike, you really pulled several rabbits out of the proverbial hat! Good for you. And what is this "can of crazy" - is it available in Canada?

Mike said...

I am told that Canada is where "crazy" is made. But what do I know?


Kay said...

I like the phrase "be present with the paint."

It says it all, really.

Once again, real wisdom from a master :-)

Thanks Mike.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I missed the demo at Palace Art. Heard it was fantastic!

RH Carpenter said...

Anyone watching you paint this got a real lesson in watercolor! Beautiful job and good for you just getting out of your head and being present with the paint, and creating this :) I'd like to buy a can of crazy, too, if it helps you create paintings like your last two!

Mike said...

It's always nice to hear from you, Kay. Maybe someday we'll get to meet.

Mike said...

Rhonda . . . the can of crazy comes along when you have been deprived of painting for several weeks and remain anxious to do so. Then when the opportunity comes and the mind is set, LOOKOUT!!