Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Watercolour experiments


As I said in my last post, I took a class in experimental watercolours last weekend. It was truly amazing. The teachers were great - check their work here: Gunnel Moheim (click "akvarell" and then "titta på bilder") and AnnMari Löf. They made everybody feel comfortable with playing around with the colours without necessarily reaching a finished result, trying new things, see new possibilities and gave us lots of tips and hints along the way. I loosened up a lot, finally dared to let watercolours do what they want on the paper without trying to control everything.

I learned a lot, most of all how little I know about watercolours... I realized that I need to practice, practice, practice, plus I need to find out a lot more about pigments and their properties.

Gunnel and AnnMari shared a lot of great techniques, like painting with rags, printing with various materials, painting through nets, pouring paint on the paper, and lots more. They filled a table with stuff to use in our work; rags, plastic, wood, pins, cloth, metal, packing materials, etc, and I really enjoyed experimenting with all their fantastic techniques. (Yes, we did use brushes too, occasionally...)

One thing that I discovered, is that I´ve been much too afraid to use WATER. Water is key, lots of water. That´s how you get the pigments to work in their own special ways, not just the colours. Some pigments bite, some make lines when they dry, some float around and some sink into the pools of the paper grain. Fun, fun, fun!

I feel like a total beginner again, and I´m itching for this work week to end to get some time to practice!

The images are all watercolours in techniques that I would never have dreamed up on my own, on watercolour paper of different grains. They are not in any way finished, they are just details of stuff I made during and after the class. Have no idea how big they are, either, and I´m too lazy to go measure them all. :)

21 comments:

Kate (Cathy) Johnson said...

Oh, Nina, that DOES look exciting! Love the little puddly bits and tool marks!

Leslie said...

Well, how fun, Nina!! I am very impressed with your work, but the workshop looks like it was a lot of inspiration. I hope you have time to play this week in the midst of work!

mARTa said...

There must be a lot of creative energy circling the globe this week as many of us are trying new things or being inspired by artists such as your instructors and yourself! I am learning so much this week from the world around me!!!

Felicity said...

Nina, these are incredible! This is going to be fun to watch but I won't hear any criticism about your 'usual' style, it's all wonderful! :)

Bonny said...

Looks like you had loads of fun! Using different tools sounds interesting, too.

I'm taking classes in watercolour and the first thing I learned, too was to use LOTS of water!

It's all bout having fun while stretching your knowledge base.

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

wow Nina!! what fun! It's interesting don't you think that those of us who tackle watercolor so often end up afraid of the water, huh??? I can't wait to see how this affects your future work!!.........deni.........;)

E-J said...

Really exciting stuff, Nina. The texture you've got from the grainier pigments and from applying the paint by unconventional means has so much potential!

josé louro said...

Yes, practice. Just what i need too.
Great work!

Lisalou said...

I really enjoy your "work", Nina. I can see it is a passion for you and not work at all. Keep sharing!
Lisa
http://lisalou-graceart.blogspot.com/

dibujandoarte said...

it's a wondeful post Nina. I love your output in/after this class. I just visited one of the sites you recommended, now I'm gonna check the other. I have a question... how is the paper you used called? Normally I get a smilar watercolour paper, 220 grms and has these parallel lines, has it got a special technical name? Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Martín.

Bill said...

That does look like fun. Charming color!

Maria - depict said...

Nina! Jättehärliga bilder, menar du att du var i Linköping på kurs?! Nästan hemma hos mig ju! Jag har tittat på deras kurslista så många gånger och varit sugen. Nu blir jag ännu mer peppad efter dina goda ord.

caseytoussaint said...

Wow - this looks like fun! I can't wait to see the way your work evolves in thelight of what you've learned. Thanks for the wonderful links too.

Rock Kyndl said...

Your comment about feeling like a beginner again reminded me of a buddhist concept: "beginner's mind". Here is a quote (Wikipedia) describing it(I think it definitely applies to you and your work!):

"Shoshin (初心, also pronounced nyuanshin) is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning Beginner's Mind. It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would."

Thanks for the continued sharing of your process.

Lynn said...

That sounds fascinating, Nina. Thanks for sharing your insights with us. Have fun!

littlemithi said...

The one on the top is so So beautiful ... the colours on the background and foreground are stunning! YOu must be an exemplary student!

Wendy said...

I looked at the teachers' work. I think Gunnel's work is just luminous. I wish I could go to these teachers. You've got that luminous look in the sky of your painting.

Inger C said...

Nina, these wather colors are super inspiring! I checked Gunnel's & AnnMari's sites out and they had a lot of things on their list I want to try out. It's good for me that I live in Stockholm :-)
You won the "You Make My Day" Awards over at my blog :-)
http://hellocraftlovers.blogspot.com
Thanks for makeing my day!
Kind regards Inger Carina

Cathy Gatland said...

You've reminded me of all the reasons why watercolour is such an exciting medium - I've been thinking of concentrating on them again after a long wander around other mediums (media?) - I'm now itching to get back to them! I've visited your blog for a while now - your work is fabulous.

Deborah said...

Sounds like a great day! I like the results you achieved. Sometimes is great to let the watercolors have the control.

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