Friday, November 09, 2012

Viburnum after Jean Haines 2012 - Part 3

9" x 12" Watercolor
Arches 140#CP

This loose painting of viburnum berries was done in Jean Haines workshop in NY following a number of demonstrations. It is my attempt to paint in Jean's style and keep things loose, abstract, and suggestive without finishing the entire work ... thus leaving some of the painting to the imagination of the viewer.

It's a bit challenging to put into concrete terms how I might describe Jean's way of painting. So here's my attempt to suggest what I see as her approach ... I may be entirely wrong .. and if I am, I hope Jean will correct me!! LOL

Jean's approach is far different than any other artist I have ever had the privilege of learning from. In my words, I see Jean's method as somewhat 'subtractive' ... in other words, and speaking for myself, my approach, and most artists I think, is to ADD more and more paint to an image - improving values, adding highlights, and pretty much COMPLETING a painting with negative painting, more layers, ADDING splashes, splatters, blown paint, etc.

If my mind, how I see Jean painting is somewhat OPPOSITE -- Jean seems to SUBTRACT paint by using WATER to adjust her values, create a background, textures, forms and the like. Jean starts with rich, juicy paint in a rich wash and adds more and more WATER or water and pigment to her painting as she works on her first wash. Jean has this most amazing ability to judge, control and USE the water on her brush and the water in her paintings. She starts on DRY paper - thus keeping more control than painting wet into wet, and yet, she continues to add water to the wet paint on dry paper to spread her paint, move it around, create her images. Her first wash guides the bit of finishing she'll do on a painting (usually after it dries) - she does NOT FUSS to fix things, but uses those 'blooms and events' to the advantage of the painting. All the time, she's watching, learning from what is going on on the paper, and USING what she is seeing to the advantage of the painting. Her first wash has about defined the subject, spread paint for the background and has her values almost perfect. Her second, and rarely, third, wash completes the painting. Her results - fresh, spontaneous - and brilliant!

What amazed me the very most was how much WATER she uses -- and how she uses WATER to paint! But all the while -- controlled. I know, I know, it is WATERcolor after all -- but I know few other artists who use water in just the same way. Her pigments are used strongly, and again, she uses water to thin out their values, water to add different colors. And though Jean's work feels somewhat 'splashy', I was reminded to be careful with all my splattering (LOLOLOL!!!).

I hope this makes sense ...

It is an amazing approach to painting and one I hope to continue to practice and incorporate into my own 'signature' way of painting.

More to come.


Lorraine said...

This is gorgeous Lin. And from Jean's DVDs and books that I have, I think you are "right on" about her methods. It is one I find VERY difficult to achieve. I still try to paint my subject instead of letting it evolve as she does. However, Laura and I agree that Jean must have an "inner eye" that sees the final result and she spreads the paint around to that end much like: I saw the angel in the stone and I set him free." (I might not have that quote exactly right but you get the idea.

Congratulations. I think you've mastered yet another technique and it is a difficult and beautiful one to be sure.

Lorraine said...

I forgot to ask: did you use an easel as you painted as Jean does???

I just love this style -- the colors blend so beautifully and leaving just enough detail so you know what you are seeing and as you said, leaving the rest to the imagination.

Teri Casper said...

An interesting way to paint. Love your results.

Joan T said...

You did a great job on this one...I can see parts of this technique working its way into your work easily. I would have a lot of trouble leaving the painting at this stage and not wanting to add more. lol But the style works for her!

Debbie Nolan said...

Lin - this looks marvelous. I love the free flowing way this feels. I follow Jean's blog and am wanting to get one of her books. I am sure you enjoyed the workshop very much. Hope you have a wonderful week-end.

Debbie Nolan said...
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