Getting what’s in my head on paper

Getting what’s in my head on paper

I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again. I cannot be left unsupervised with paint. Ultramarine blue (my favorite color) got me this time. I had several small, wrinkled, and generally used up tubes of the cherished color in my stash, so I decided to soak the remaining color out by placing the caps and tubes (not together) in a small glass of water. Then I prepped a sheet of watercolor paper with Halloween webbing and poured the diluted paint mixture over the webbing and on to the paper.

The next morning, of course, I was dying for a look and so lifted up the webbing to inspect the result. Things looked good, but there was so much water still on the paper that I decided to take off the webbing to let it dry. Then I got to wondering… what would happen if I re-used the webbing.

When I pulled the webbing off this one a few hours later, I was pretty pleased. The paper sat drying on the table beside the other. And every time I passed it I thought the same thing: “That’s a flying horse.” This is the same king of thinking that made me paint “I Feel Pretty”; in other words, following this voice has a long, LONG history of getting me into trouble.

So, naturally, I went for it.

Let me state that this is an excellent rendering of a horse head. In fact, cropped it has a lot of potential.

But it’s not what I saw in my head. I got sucked into rendering a proper, proportional horse and forgot what I was seeing. My friend Sandra said, “Try again” but it was a random start. I can’t redo it. I could try, but the confidence of the original idea is gone.

That’s the problem with painting, at least for me. I have an idea, but fully realizing the idea is, at least so far, beyond my grasp. So, I have to pause regularly and say, “Okay, this isn’t the idea, but could it be another idea?”  And repeating this question, I tiptoe toward the finish.

2 Comments on “Getting what’s in my head on paper

  1. What you said is true for most of us I think. What I end up, putting on paper is never quite as beautifully painterly as what resides in my imagination. The ideas in my head never quite translate to the reality of my finished work.

  2. Glad to know the rest of the story!
    I have the opposite method – today I started rev 5 of one that has not worked out quite the way I want. Earlier revs can marinate a while. But there is not going to be a rev 6!