Friday, September 30, 2011

Just another pretty face

(click on image to enlarge)
Mt. Robson
Watercolour and crayon
©2011 Charlene Brown

About twenty years ago I attended a watercolour workshop in the Canadian Rockies given by well-known American artist, Barbara Nechis.  We were in the Bow Valley surrounded by spectacular peaks, and Barbara reminded us that some of them had been painted hundreds, if not thousands, of times. She went on to suggest that, under the circumstances, we consider carefully whether or not each of the paintings we were about to produce really ‘needed’ to be done… Then she explained some unique approaches and showed us some fascinating painting techniques that could result in something more than just another pretty mountain scene.
I’ve tried to heed Barbara’s advice – working on something approaching her wonderfully loose, semi-abstract style – but, in fact, have produced way too many straight-up pretty mountain scenes in the years since that workshop. Perhaps I’ll select a series of these and either ‘abstract’ them or re-do them in the throes of a really dramatic mountain storm…