Rocks Like Candy

I remember the first time I did a watercolor painting outdoors. I had just learned about plein aire painting through another class at my college and I decided to take an independent watercolor painting class.

I did 3 Flowers as a study in May 2008. My painting style has grown and changed even over the last 5 years.
I chose a location down on a riverbed. I could see rocks and a high treeline off of the river. It was beautiful. However, as I started to paint I chose a bad color combination. I did not get the composition and it was a horrible piece of art.

When I took the painting back to my guiding professor, he reprimanded me for not following the rules of which I should have already known. It was clear to me that I had only just been introduced to these concepts and, though I should have known better, none of them had stuck just, yet.

Why did I continue on when my failure was so evident?

I usually take criticism pretty harshly, especially if it's from people I respect. I get demoralized easily. But my determination that I was going to be as good, if not better than the watercolor painters I had seen stuck with me. I wanted a unique expression. No one else I knew at the time was doing it and I wanted show those who hated watercolor painting that it could be done and done well.

You should never give up on a passion to learn. God puts desires and drives in us to accomplish great things. He created us that way for a reason. If your rocks look like candy and your trees are unrecognizable, then its time to go back to the drawing board--literally

Using the same photo reference I did this painting again in my current style. Click here to see the full-sized image: 3 Flowers.
3 Flowers 2013, click on title for full size.
I escaped my frustration by starting with the principles that I already knew had worked for my professors, classmates, and myself. I always went back to that excellent picture in my mind of what it was I desired to accomplish. No one becomes a great painter overnight, so bear with the process and some years down the road you will look back and see that the process was worthwhile after all.

When my class begins on March 6, I will be teaching the fundamentals necessary to do a great watercolor painting. If you are in the Columbus area you can sign up for the the class by clicking on this link: Postcard Painting Class.

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