6" x 6"

watercolor on paper

Watercolor is a tempestuous beast of a medium. When I was growing up, my mother had a technique book she referenced from time to time called "Watercolor Free & Easy."  It's true that in many aspects of watercolor painting it does help to have a relaxed approach (laying down the sky in a landscape for instance), but the idea that one must be in a perpetually mellow state to come up with anything successful is actually a stress inducing concept to me.  I like to think I spend the vast majority of my life feeling free and easy, but I assure you this is not my reality.  Something to aim for, yes, but in the day to day tumult of life it's not always possible.

Watercolors can go from beautiful to dreadful in only a few brushstrokes which is why by the time you realize you might be onto something worthwhile, you may have nearly lost it.  Sometimes you can correct for minor mistakes, but for the most part you have to live with what you've done.  Learn to appreciate it or move on to the next painting.  

It's this mind game that keeps me coming back to watercolor.  It is difficult, yes, and I always say that for every good painting I have a stack of ten bad ones (which is true).  But, that's life, isn't it? Some days are just going to be shit.  Some days you'll be brilliant. 

I don't love this Ambrosia apple painting. I did at one time in it's process, but I think one of the major points in taking this project on (painting an apple a day) is to accept imperfection and keep going, to remind myself to be "free and easy" about it.  Apples can still be delicious, even with their spots.