After yesterday’s guess-what-it-is drawing, I took a deep breath and tried again. Before I go on, I’m just going to say that no matter what you think of this little painting, I like it. It is not one, but two pears.
I’m not sure that these pears are much more recognizable than the poor fruit I drew on Monday, but it doesn’t matter. I’ll say it again. I like this quick little watercolor.
I made this small painting (it’s not quite half a page in my 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ sketchbook, so no, it’s not even on watercolor paper) while I was sitting in a corridor of the Carondelet Medical Building this morning. My husband was visiting his retinologist, and due to their COVID protocols, I can’t go into the office with him.
So, I sit in the corridor, sketching, doodling, or, as I did today, playing with paints. Ordinarily I take my gansai along. This morning I went with the traditional “western” watercolor. Actually I didn’t start with the intention of painting my two pears. I simply wanted to draw a couple pears, if only to prove to myself that I could capture the essential shapes and draw pears that actually looked like pears.
Instead of working from life as I did on Monday, I used a photo I’d taken:
With an HB pencil, I sketched the basic shapes of these two pears, added the stems, and did my best to represent — in some way — the different values. With graphite, it was hard. I did the best I could, and I should have taken a photo of my sketch. I didn’t. Instead, I wondered how my little drawing would look with a bit of watercolor.
Oh, I had fun painting these pears. I added in a blue-black for the background and made no attempt whatsoever to draw or paint the lace pattern of the tablecloth. I just used a reddish brown. In all, I used several different colors for these pears: yellows and oranges, a bit of cerulean blue to make touches of green. I was using a waterbrush to paint these pears, and I was happily letting the colors run over the edges and into each other.
In the end, I was very pleased with what I had done. While these are not the most realistic pears, that’s fine with me. I find myself moving comfortably away from realism and the idea of accurate representation. I don’t want to paint pears that look like pears in a photograph. I want to paint shapes and colors that come together in what appears to be a pear, or, in this instance, two pears.
Maybe I’m going a bit to an extreme with this “loose” approach, and I think in time I’ll find my way to a “middle ground” where the looseness and freedom is still present, but with the subject perhaps a bit more recognizable. In looking at these pears — as with Monday’s graphite pear — you might not immediately know what they are. Were you to see these pears as part of a larger still life, though, I’m thinking maybe… well, I don’t know. Do they look enough like a pair of pears to qualify?
Again, I like this painting. I like it because it shows how willing I am now to embrace imperfect art, how free I am to put colors here and there, how much more fun I’m having as an artist when I stop fretting about results and just do whatever pleases me.
That’s what this art is about. It’s about being happy with something I’ve created, even if it doesn’t measure up to anyone else’s standards. So, once more, I’ll say it. I like this little painting. That’s all that matters, really.