Sunday, May 13, 2012

The iris have been in bloom for the past several weeks. Now that they're fading, I'm working fast to try and capture these beauties in watercolor paint.  I think that a series of iris botanicals will make nice prints..everyone likes the iris. 

I have just two weeks before I participate in the "Plein Aire Mountain Maryland" competition in Cumberland, MD.  I LOVE competition:  I welcome it and thrive in this sort of environment.  Deadlines and pressure are two things I understand and enjoy.  The judge for the Cumberland event is Steven Dougherty, who was once editor of American Artist Magazine and he selected my work for publication in 2006.  I'm so pleased that he's selected me for this plein aire competition. I hope to do well.  I only began competing in plein aire events last year, although I've been competing in watercolor competitions for decades.  This is different.  Plein aire takes quick thinking, drawing, designing and painting. 

So, I'll paint iris for a few more days, but I'm going outdoors to practice every chance I get.

Tip for the day:  "Don't let reality ruin a good painting."  My weekly classes have been focusing on this theory.  It's quite amazing to see how many times an artist will dislike their work because it doesn't look exactly like their photograph, or they're unable to let go and let the watercolor paint move and flex like the fluid matter it is.  So, forget about details and making everything "look like the picture."  If you allow the paint to work, you may be in for some fortunate surprises.

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