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Friday, April 12, 2013

Paint What You Know

Watercoloured Water- Watercolour on Paper - Unframed. 22.5"x 15"

When I first began my writing career, the cliche of "write what you know" was my mantra.
So if the subject was foreign to me, I did as much reading and research as the subject dictated. I worked for a financial newspaper initially so the subject was complicated and diverse and not fascinating. But I understood that I could only convey to the reader the information which was integrated in my body of general knowledge.

Needless to say,I became conversant about RRSPs and Stocks- neither of which I had at that time.

Clearly, that has translated into my subject matter when I take out my paper and watercolour paints. I only paint what I understand, what I have touched, smelled, tasted and viewed. Unless I am deconstructing an image, the core of my subject has to feel familiar and comfortable. Not adventurous. I have never painted an airplane, a boat, or a location which I have not seen in person. Is this common to painters? Of course, landscape painters who create en plein air know this precept all too well. The eyes have it. Right?

This painting is the result of a photo I snapped on the crater-filled,un-beach-like shore of Barbados. And yes, it is water and rocks; two aspects of nature which I have inhaled through all my years. I know this scene, visually and in my gut. And now you know it too.