Over the next few days I’ve continued with the small studies, as well as a few water colours at a similar scale. The challenge for me is to use watercolour in a way which stems more naturally from the way I paint, rather than feeling tempted to adopt the same process as Moran. As I’ve mentioned before Moran achieved a masterly technique after diligent study of his hero Turner but in my view he went on to produce some of the best Watercolours in the history of the medium. I always feel transported by the strange dichotomy in these works, a subtle delicacy contrasted with passages of audacious rich colour resulting in an image which simultaneously shimmers with taut forethought and joyful spontaneity. My initial attempts feel a bit laboured, as though I am trying to draw with the paint but eventually I get a couple that start to feel more like pure painting.
I’ve always thought that the tools of painting and drawing have a unique relationship, both to the person using them and the ‘subject’ of the image. The task of the artist is to unlock their own secret language of the paint or pencil in a way which is both thrilling while the work is being produced and retains a beguiling mystery when the piece is complete.
I feel like a beginner with these and have a sense of my limited understanding, it’s frustrating but I’m determined to keep returning to Watercolour and see how they develop over this working period and will keep you posted.