A Reconciliation of Sorts

Don’t you just hate it when someone you know breaks up with their significant other, cries on your shoulder, carries on about how they intend to get on with their life, and then the next day they’re calling to tell you they’ve gotten back together with their ex?

All right, so Aubrey Phillips wasn’t really a significant other, we were never officially a couple, and I have, indeed, gone on with my life, exploring my own watercolor style. That doesn’t mean, does it, that I can’t occasionally have lunch with Aubrey, so to speak? We can still be friends, right?

The reason I’m asking is because the painting I completed this morning for my 100-day project bears an actual resemblance to the Aubrey Phillips painting on which it was based.

First, here is his “Stark Winter” painting:

Stark Winter AP (2)
Stark Winter – Watercolor by Aubrey Phillips

And, here is my “Stark Winter” scene:

Start Winter WO Fence (2)
Stark Winter – Watercolor by Judith Kraus

Now, if you’re observant, you’ll notice that — oops! — I forgot the fence. As soon as I realized that, I went back and added it in, and then got carried away with a little bit of color that didn’t belong there. So, here was my “completed” version with the fence:

Stark Winter JLK (2)
Start Winter – Complete with Fence

I think the influence from Phillips is obvious in my watercolor. That’s probably because this is one of the few paintings of his that I do like. I like the colors. I like the skies. It was easy for me to work from this inspiration, and although I set off to re-create it in my own style, it ended up looking more like the original than I expected.

Is that a good thing? Or is that a bad thing?

I suppose it depends on what perspective you’re seeing it from. It’s good in the sense that my watercolor abilities must be improving if I can come away with a fairly good reproduction of an Aubrey Phillips painting. But maybe it’s not such a good thing when you consider that I’m wanting to develop my own style, not imitate Phillips or anyone else.

Of course, certain elements of his style will inevitably find their way into my style. I do love his pastel skies with hints of rose and grey. I’m learning to appreciate the way he paints his trees. And I do like the way he emphasizes depth in his paintings.

I’m sure as I continue developing my own style, you’ll see bits and pieces of Aubrey Phillips here and there, mementos and souvenirs from the time I shared with him over these spring and summer months, reading, learning, and exploring the world together.

But hopefully you’ll also see more of me and my style as I walk through this watercolor world.


    1. Exactly! This was one reason why I decided to work with his book. I knew I would have to start thinking for myself, finding my own way instead of following along and copying somebody else’s style. It’s been an exciting adventure — and it’s not over yet!


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