Biting the paper

When I paint, I want to fight the paper.  Bite it, scratch it, hack into the layers.  I want to build the image and gouge holes in it.  Cover the image with another and another.

Buckden Out Moor looking west (2)

Somehow, I don’t think watercolour is really my medium.

Buckden Out Moor looking west Horton Scar

I enjoy the watercolours of other bloggers.  Looking at their skilled work, I think  you have to have to be kind to your medium, offer the paper understanding, respect the areas that should remain untouched, build the experience layer by glorious layer.

Horton Scar (1)

I took up watercolour so I could carry a field kit and paint outdoors not because I had any instinct for the medium.

Horton Moor (36 1)

In this series, I have drawn into each pocket sized rectangle with soluble graphite and crayons moistened with drizzle and drifting snow.

Horton Moor (37)

I have subsequently worked into each image first in watercolour and then with knife, water and a hard rubber, tearing the surface to create texture and claw back the whiteness beneath.

Malham Cove (15)  Malham Cove (18)

In one or two places the cratered paper was holed.

11 responses to “Biting the paper

  1. Yes sometimes I want to do that with the paper as well – and I was looking at some drawings here by Nicolas Harding that had a scrubbed surface. Rosie Scribbler was also talking about it on one of her posts and suggested I look at an english artist David Tress – whose work is well worth looking at and you might also enjoy 🙂

    • Hi. Thanks for stopping by. I follow both Rosie and Nicolas too and enjoy their work. Rosie describes her processes and makes me ache to have a go. David Tress was the starting point for the process that led to the White Birds painting. I have also realised how important space is. I work cramped and over a short time, but when I have joined a workshop in a large underoccupied studio and worked a few hours at a time over weeks, interesting things came out. Some of this is about becoming more professional in my approach, understanding what works for me and investing in this.

      • Space and time – two important ingredients – how you have managed to find either with a young family and a demanding professional career is really quite an achievement. Experimenting and exploring with lots of different mediums is a great place to start – and never being afraid of failure. Good luck

    • Hi. Thanks. I keep thinking about oils. I’ve used acrylics as an opaque medium. Cramped space at home and small kids around made me reluctant to have solvents about but these can be addressed. Water miscible oil paint is now available. Perhaps I will take the plunge and try it.

  2. Every watercolor painting goes through a phase where it looks like shit and I read once that watercolor can not be mastered only handled masterfully. Perhaps you just need to put them down for a bit and work in other media . Maybe you’ll have a greater affinity for one or maybe you will come back to watercolor with new vigor and passion or maybe not. The important thing to remember is THE ART IS IN THE DOING and it doesn’t matter how you do or what you do it with.
    Personally, I’ve always like your watercolors they have an earnest honesty that I can relate to and enjoy.

  3. Pingback: Biting the paper (II) | kestrelart

  4. Pingback: Biting the paper III | kestrelart

  5. Pingback: Starting printmaking III: intaglio | kestrelart

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