|"A New Year's Journey," 5 x 7 watercolor card|
I'm not sure I know, after all these years. They started out simply, going to family, and a few friends. I think they were then, and they certainly are now, journeys of discovery, both in painting, and personally.
They're also a challenge. The "list" has grown over the years, though it has shrunk below 100 since retirement, and trying to make each card original, trying not to get stuck in a rut, trying not to be too uptight in painting, trying to...
I learn from painting these, about myself and painting. On larger work I'm too detailed, too picky. These 5 x 7s demand minimal detail, more impression, more quick brush strokes, more reliance on the viewers' imaginations.
I considered not doing them this year, because I felt stuck in a rut, that perhaps I was painting out of obligation, rather than want to.
Some people expect them, even ask for them. Some actually frame them. And not doing them would diminish me.
"They're a gift," said my wife Susan, when I was thinking about starting them back in October.
It took me a little to realize that they are a gift, primarily to me. They give me joy knowing that people enjoy them, look forward to them.
They push me to push myself. They push me to be creative, to be original, though they carry some common themes and images. Have you noticed the gates? The streams and bridges?I didn't even realize that until they kept cropping up. they're easy, but they're also metaphors of my life, for life.
By posting them on this blog, they also keep me challenged to think and write something meaningful, even stream-of-consciousness, about the images.
Every good painting tells a story, or stories. And what I've learned over the past few years as an artist, is that every painting has a story behind it, or more than one.
I guess that's the story, the answer behind the why to the watercolor cards.
|Four of this years' cards|