Are you willing to change?

Echeverria, watercolor by Rachel from several years ago

I wanted to show you a series of paintings that I did through a class taken in the summer with the fabulous painter Nancy Frost Begin. She challenged us to be willing to simplify our subject and change elements such as color, value, etc. to INVENT rather than just REPORT in our painting. I started with the photograph that inspired this painting I did of echeverria several years ago and I simplified the subject first.

This was a more simplified painting with deeper values than the original.
This is a cool version of it in progress

The first question: Was I willing to change the color?

COLOR change

Was I willing to change the shape?

One of my favorites…abstracting the shape

Was I willing to change the scale? To zoom in? or out…

SCALE change and also playing with pure color against the various grays made from the orange and blue

Was I willing to change the value?

VALUE change…the white edges became the dark edges and it has a large focus on LINE.

Was I willing to change the form?

I chose to remove it from being plant like/organic and making it more geometric…and also play with the color.

Was I willing to change the space? i.e. reverse what we think about the background and foreground

One might expect the warm colors to be in the center and come forward and the cooler in the background to recede, but I flipped it, as well as flipping the color on the little spines to dark

What a difference they all are aren’t they? coming from the same point of inspiration. It was a mind blowing and mind expanding exercise that I’m sure I will do again! I loved it!

Nancy Frost Begin, NMWS will be the guest demo artist for the Rio Bravo Watercolorists on November 20, Wednesday at 10:30 at the International Museum of Art, 1211 Montana, El Paso. She will be discussing What Are You Willing to Change?

4 thoughts on “Are you willing to change?

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