Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought, where they write about ideas and creativity. Diane posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome as it turns an article into a discussion. They must, however, be in English to avoid spam getting in here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The elation from overcoming a struggle to paint

Only covered the  painting with a few colors
 before I tired from the effort and the weather changed.

Finished in my studio
"Struggling and Overcoming"
watercolor with acrylic medium and acrylic white
on canvas board covered with absorbent gesso.
14" x 11"

I set myself up to struggle a little. I like to feel the excitement of doing something the first time like the excitement of solving a puzzle. I love setting myself up to have ah ha moments. What do I have to loose or hurt?  It is only paint and inanimate materials, I can take big chances. On my self-imposed obstacle course I will encounter problems that I can cover with white Golden Absorbent Ground to reestablish the brilliant white ground. With my no fail net I am brave. The pay off is partly the feeling of elation of arriving at a resolution and partly from new insights to carry on to the next painting. Most importantly I select obstacles that will further my ability to develop my own voice. Currently I want to paint with out interruption of framing watercolors under glass. The more painting I do the better the flow and all the more reason to feel elated.

I start painting "Struggling and Overcoming" without a complete plan. I didn't know when I started  if my first outdoor painting using dilute acrylic medium in watercolors could be the sixth in my series about my process. I was sad at first that this painting wasn't going to be happy like the others. My mood was agitation by the difficulty of managing a large palette on a small easel table. But when I thought about my predicament, I knew that having struggled, I was all the more gratified when the painting started working with the addition of the title, "Struggling and Overcoming".

 Two days after starting I named it "Struggling and Overcoming', I saw the cloudy sky and our Stars and Stripes as being symbolic of struggling.  The stars could be symbolic of unity of the parts of the painting as well as uniting it with the theme of  the other paintings in the series. The brushes and buds of the rhododendron repeat the symbols of the first one in the series, "Promising Blossoming".

When I started it was warm and beautiful outside but I knew from the sky that a storm was coming.  Besides being rushed, I was experimenting to see if I could use a rather large palette with many colors, palette knives with watercolor, a Fleet's enema bottle containing dilute medium, a jar of acrylic white paint, 4 brushes, water in a Cool Whip container and a water spray bottle and a rag all managed on a make shift floppy table which was an adaption of a oil or acrylic painting easel. I felt very tied up by these limitations. Just filling the surface all over resulted in needing a break.

 Monday was warm and sunny again, perfect for my second outdoor painting. On the last canvas board that I have prepared I started a wet into wet painting and used up the colors and medium I have been keeping over a week on a round palette balanced on a wet sponge in zip lock plastic bag.

After setting up my easel.  I first put water all over the surface and used the colors in the round palette allowing the paint to spread and drip. As it dried more precision was attainable by painting around the mermaid  steel cutout by the window.

 I felt considerably freer than my first attempt outdoors. However, I am not satisfied with the smaller palette because too much of the medium overflowed into a plastic bag. I was OK with the limit of colors and later  indoors added acrylics to the flowering bush.

As I was painting I was happily excited watching somewhat  planned accidental flows of pigment into the indentations of the brushed texture of  thick absorbent ground.
The puzzle was set for me to resolve and a title to discover. Maybe  "Controlled Accidents"!
My elation melted into expectations as my mind filled with future challenging plans.
Maybe I have a complete series about my process.



Rain Trueax said...

I like to watch you paint and this is almost as good to see what you are trying and then have learned :)

Diane Widler Wenzel said...

Thank you Rain. Good to know someone is reading my thinking process as I paint. This morning I finished and signed “Accidents Controllable”. Now I really feel elated and ready to prepare some scrap plywood boards that Don has saved in his shop for years.

Rain Trueax said...

I don't know how to get more comments in this blog. I think a lot read through their phones and then some get it via email where they can't comment unless they come here. But 472 have been here already today. Somebody is reading-- just how we get to conversations is more complicated. Some blogs get a lot of commenting. Others with a lot of visitors just don't get the comments. I'd love to see more :)

Tabor said...

I read and do not always comment as I have other things. How do you make the time to paint? What do you consciously do so that other obligations do not distract you?

Diane Widler Wenzel said...

I have few other obligations and I am trying to reduce redundancy in what I post about politics on FB. I watch only 2 movies from Netflix a month and read less than one book a month.

Diane Widler Wenzel said...

Tabor, thanks for your comments. And did I say my housework is behind. The windows could use a washing.