By popular (personal) consensus… unfinished art is interesting.
That’s my opinion and I’m sticking with it for today.
As I shared in my last post, I was out on a 4-wheeling / camping adventure the last few days up in the gorgeous Colorado rockies. During that time I took a lot of photos and experimented a bit with watercolors in my travel Moleskine sketchbook.
Now, would I recommend using watercolors in a standard Moleskine sketchbook? Mmmm… likely no. Its paper stock is not made for watercolor. It’s a sketchbook after all, not a watercolor book. But when you’re in a pinch and just want to create and have fun while on the go and lack a proper travel watercolor book, the Moleskine will do.
I had fun working on these, however, and was really happy with the gorgeous scenes our 4-wheeling adventures provided. I was particularly drawn to all the old structures at all the abandoned mines we came across and used a couple of them as my reference images for a couple of my watercolor pages.
Now why do I have a personal consensus that unfinished art is interesting?
I’ll try to explain. First of all, I love watching other artists do sketchbook flips on YouTube. I enjoy looking at the pieces they’ve worked on in all their stages, from rough outlines to color studies to finished pieces. The pieces that seem halfway done are what tend to interest me the most. I think part of it is that it is entertaining for my creative mind to view the unfinished piece as a sort of de-constructed map to how an artist eventually gets to a finished piece of work. It also sparks my imagination as my mind likes to try to fill in the unfinished parts with what I think would have gone there or could go there or will eventually come to fruition.
Thus I am perfectly content with sharing some of my semi-finished, experimental pieces from my travels this weekend.
Most of the art was done perched on a rickety old folding chair with my travel watercolors sitting on top of the cooler, hurrying to beat the fading sun after spending all day on the trail. There was also the occasional battle with mosquitos and biting flies while I tried to mix colors or sketch shapes.
This first one was my trying to recreate my Galaxy painting in the Moleskine with this particular travel water color set. I was not successful by far. The paper absorbed the water quickly or the gentle breezes blowing through the campground dried the water too quickly for me to do any effective wet on wet applications of color.
The following sketch I was trying to draw the view we had of some of the San Isabel range from our camping spot. Again – I did this as the sun was setting so eventually ran out of decent light to properly see what I was sketching. I had all intentions of finishing up the sketch the following day, however when we returned the next day, the wind was blowing really hard and we parked the truck in front of the tent to serve as a wind-block… and it also ended up being a scene-block. So… no more work on that sketch. Oh, well. Let your mind’s eye figure out what’s missing.
The next sketch/painting I did was the one of the crumbling mine structure that I shared in my previous post.
My final sketch / painting, which looks way more complete than others, was finished on the last night of our trip. This particular night we actually stayed in a motel (Ah! Blessed showers!) Because I was able to sit and work with electric lights on a stable surface with plenty of clean water, I managed to finish this piece off more completely. This was yet another abandoned mine structure referenced from a photo I took earlier that day on our last 4-wheeling trip.
Please share your traveling art adventures with me. I’d love to hear about them.
And just to no leave you completely hanging, here are some actual photographs from my adventures in the beautiful Colorado Rockies.
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List of materials:
Moleskine travel sketchbook
Winsor & Newton watercolors
iPhone 5 camera