Bindingarts’s Blog

June 7, 2009

Finding My Voice

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debra Fink Bachelder @ 3:39 pm

In art, when you have a style of your own you are said to have found your voice. Well if that’s the case then I pretty much can sing my heart out in photography, jewelry, books and cards but when it comes to watercolor painting I don’t yet know if I’m a soprano.  alto or contralto and if I’m meant to be the diva or content to take my place in the chorus.  Definitely NOT the latter.  I’m shooting for DIVA. I’m good. My instructor (Fred Graff)  picked my painting on the last day, last class critique, as the “best of show” out of 14 paintings. Funny since it was the one I was about to toss in the garbage can as we cleaned up to go home after four days of painting.  Since returning home, I’ve painted three more I really love–they’re posted on my website.

What’s the difference between now and 6 years ago, the last time I painted? I know, last entry I said it was four but I checked the date o n my last painting and it was actually SIX. Planning. I sketch better and faster. I do my homework: I look up (in a great reference book) which paints are staining, transparent, semi-transparent and opaque. I pre-select my palette and experiment with the mixes and layers in my notebooks before I start the painting.  I used to just attack the paper and start painting end up with crap, not understand why and hate it so I quit out of frustration. 

Why the change?  A few years ago I saw an exhibit at the Whitney Museum of Art featuring one of my favorite painters, Edward Hopper. One gallery was filled with sketches and studies for just one painting. I got it. 

Another MAJOR contributing factor, at the end of the 2003 workshop, the instructor left the room for a while and when he returned he came back and handed me a star he made out of mat board and on the star he wrote “courage.”  I still have that star.  This past workshop, last month, I was back in Fred’s class. Fred’s approach and personality made us all believe we could be painters and we could paint anything if we just kept working at it. I wondered if he remembered the star.  Anyway, this time I painted with abandon. I didn’t worry about every brushstroke. I didn’t give a crap about what everyone else was painting or how they were painting– my brush just sang as if I was tooling along the highway with the car windows rolled down and the radio turned  up.  

In a few more weeks, I’ll be ready to take the stage   for Holiday season 2009 and possibly  enter my work in some art shows. I want everyone to hear me so let the music begin.

Stay well. –Debra

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