argos: (snowy argos)
[personal profile] argos
Well, as if I didn't have enough to do, the art bug is chewing on me again. Instead of reaching for the flea soap I pulled out my box of art supplies and considered my options.

I have most everything I need to do a little fooling around. We'll see how it turns out before deciding whether to allocate regular time to it. The craving is familiar to me.

I've always loved painting in watercolor. Some consider this a most difficult medium, while others treat it as something suited only to children's play. I'm somewhere in the middle on it. What I really like about it though is that you can do whatever you like because there is no "orthodox" way of working with watercolor. Wet, dry, over pencil or ink or by itself, all are legit. Abstract or representational, as sharp and photographic as architectural drawing or as loose and fantastical as Vincent Van Gogh, watercolor does it all. It needs less equipment and is easily portable and easy to clean up after. I'm starting to sound like a commercial, eh?

Anyway, This afternoon I dusted off my drawing board and "stretched" a piece of 80 lb. cold press paper so I could do some remedial exercises to remind myself of various techniques. Stretching is the process of anchoring the edges of a soaking wet sheet of watercolor paper so that as it dries it will pull down flat and taut like a drum head. This keeps it from wrinkling and buckling when uneven moisture is applied during the painting. A slight hitch appeared immediately.

I've always used gummed brown paper package tape to anchor the wet paper. It does the job, comes off cleanly when moistened again with a sponge, and is cheap. Turns out we have none in the house because what they sell now for wrapping packages to mail is that thin plastic stuff. That probably won't work. I tried using it just the same, but it doesn't stick well to wet surfaces. I'm going to have to find some of the old stuff, if it's still made.

Anyway, the paper is [mostly] stretched and drying. Tomorrow, perhaps, the brushes get wet again for the first time in years.


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August 2012

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