"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Posing a challenge

"North Light," 5 x 7 watercolor, 140 lb Fabriano Artistico extra white cold press paper
I have gained several advantages from the #WorldWatercolorMonth daily prompts that I didn't realize at first.
The first challenge is simply to paint something everyday. But the longer I get involved, there are other challenges...challenges to my imagination to come up with something I want to paint, and then the challenges of being able to paint the subjects to my satisfaction.
But today's prompt pretty well epitomizes my challenges. 
"Pose" was the word, and it is a daunting word to me, full of memories. It's forcing me to try new subjects and techniques, pushing me out of my comfort zone. 
Terrence Miller Clark, artist
It's daunting because my brother and I often posed for my Dad as he drew our portraits over the years. He was a talented portrait artist who could quickly catch a person's likeness, in pencil or oil. 
I am gradually learning to paint the human form as part of a landscape, but to catch a likeness in paint is, to my mind, far beyond my ability. Actually, daunting isn't strong enough. "Intimidating" is the correct word when I think of portraits.
So two days ago, I began thinking of how to respond to "pose," which was indeed posing a challenge.
Finally, and after some value sketches, I decided to try a rough impressionist scene, forgetting the details.
Thus you have today's watercolor.
P.S. In January I did my first portrait, commissioned by a family member. You can see that on the link below.
Watercolor Portrait of TeAta
If you're interested in seeing and reading about my Dad's portraits, here are three more links.
Portraits of an artist
Portraits of an artist-part 2
Portraits of an artist-part 3

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