How do you know what to paint? And why do you paint it?These questions are asked of artists all the time.
"I paint what I love"
"I paint what sells"
"I paint to show that there is beauty in the world"
"I paint to remind people that there is hate and injustice in the world"
Answers will vary from one artist to another depending on their intent and economic status. But I believe they have one thing in common.
They all fall in love a little each time they paint, or sculpt, or draw. They fall in love, but not necessarily with the image, although most often that is true.
They also fall in love with the medium. The way the paint tracks across the canvas in the process of blending and layering. The feel of the clay between their fingers, or the surprise of the random pooling of watercolor. Or just the way one color looks when placed next to another.
Each time I begin a watercolor I am not quite sure how it will all turn out. Although I have a plan, I like to give plenty of space to just let things happen. To let the water and paint mix, colors blend and bleed, and then surprise me.
And each time I let these random things happen, I fall in love a little bit again with watercolor.
Painting Boldt Castle
Boldt Castle has been painted countless times, by hundreds of artists. It's hard to find a new twist on this favorite Thousand Islands icon.
The Castle consists of several buildings spread across Heart Island, in the St. Lawrence River. To include all of the buildings usually calls for a horizontal format, but I really wanted to include a lot more sky and water in my painting. My goal was to create a soft misty effect where the sky and water seem to merge, and the Castle would float above it.
In the painting The Pump House sits at the edge of the place where the island meets the mist and the Castle rises out of the vegetation. The whole effect is of a floating dream world.
The background for this painting was done with a nice sloppy wet-on-wet approach. After the sky and water dried, the vegetation was roughed in. The architecture which was lightly sketched in before I painted the background, was painted when the paper had dried.