As a result of posting about my last building portrait, and then after that post was shared on Facebook, I received a delightful commission to paint another beautiful and iconic building in Glens Falls, NY.
21 Bay was a pleasure to paint, from its small square stained glass windows to its intricately decorated friezes. The unique focus on just the entrance area highlights the features that make this building stand out.
21 Bay stood empty for quite some time before the current owners renovated and restored it, and now contains apartments on its upper floors and several businesses along the street side, another great example of grand old buildings re-purposed rather than wrecked, made useful, vital and glorious once again.
Since I work in a variety of mediums (watercolor, pastel, acrylics, pen & ink, gouache, sometimes oils), I can't claim to be one thing or the other, not solely a watercolor artist or pastel artist or whatever. I call myself a visual artist, just to make things easier in a world that loves labels.
I don't want to paint like anyone else, but sometimes that happens regardless. However, when I work in my looser watercolor style embellished with pen & ink line work, or paint my tiny gouaches, or create a pastel painting with my slant stroke technique, I feel like I am painting in my own voice. I feel these are more my trademark pieces.
My newest work, Broken Falls, is an example of the loose watercolor with pen & ink line work I truly enjoy painting. It is one of several new pieces going into my solo show at North Country Art Center's City Hall Gallery in Glens Falls, NY this September.
I’m starting a couple of new watercolors, the first two of twelve new paintings I plan on having ready for an exhibit in September.
In my mind, I can conceive of how I want them to look, but I know once the painting starts and the watercolor starts to do its own magical thing, they will turn into something a little different than the imagined. I start with a solid drawing, which I then transfer to my blank stretched paper, and then I start painting. Just like it’s a good thing to go forth into your life with some sort of plan, I find it’s important for me to start with a good drawing, one that is drafted well, and follows compositional rules – it’s important to start with solid bones.
The beauty comes when the painting starts. Adding the color, fleshing out those compositional bones, taking on the challenges of the unpredictable that watercolor presents, gives the painting life. The painting becomes an organic amalgamation of vision, chance, and irony, resulting in what was meant to be, and what I’m meant to learn.
And that’s alright with me.