Sunday, February 28, 2010

20-minute challenge

(Kilimanjaro paper, 7x8)
I've been wanting, needing to paint something for Katharine Cartwright's blog, Twenty Minute Challenge. If you haven't yet, visit--it's inspiring and a great boost if you're stuck or constrained for time.
I had a teacher several years back who would have us set up a two- or three-object still life on our desks; paint it in five minutes; then pass the objects to the person next to us and paint their objects ... musical still life. People in the class always groaned about it, but I loved that exercise, just as, in life drawing, the two- to five-minute poses were always my favorite: those short poses yielded some of my best work in the classes.

It's amazing how much you can learn in twenty minutes; the time really goes rather slowly. As I drew it I became worried that this subject was too complicated or detailed and almost abandoned it, but I decided just to push through the next nineteen minutes and see what I got. Without meaning to, I painted very wet and so lost a lot of the details I had planned to try to keep, like the pollen inside the crocuses (those purple blobs are crocuses) or the turnings of the dogwood petals ... Turns out, I don't miss them.
Next time perhaps I'll set something up with fewer objects, but here I'm pleased with how the wetness--which, in twenty minutes, you don't have time to work with, compensate for--solved the overcomplication problem.
I spent about one minute drawing and the last five minutes looking for things to "fix." I was tempted to soften the line on the jar at right, but my alarm had sounded, so I resisted.
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17 comments:

Ruth S Harris said...

It works really nicely, well done! I never would have imagined it was done in 20 minutes.

luigi said...

Un bel lavoro, fresco anche perchè non hai potuto intervenire ulteriormente. Ma tu sei davvero brava, i tuoi colori mi piacciono in modo particolare, si può dire che caratterizzano il tuo stile personale. Ciao e grazie per l'informazione.

Irina said...

This 20 minutes work looks great! You inspired me to try asap.

Willa said...

Your watercolors make me want to paint again!

shicat said...

Hi Laura, once again I love your colors. 20 mins. leaves little time to overwork it,which is a good thing. I like the lost and found edges,something I am always confused about but enjoy in others paintings. Sometimes I get half way through a painting and think now what? Crazy hey.

carolking said...

Great 20 minute challenge. I love the looseness and the bright colors of this painting.

AutumnLeaves said...

Laura, I think this is beautiful! I am amazed how you've done this in such a short amount of time. I think I really overwork everything I do. Maybe I need to start exercising some non-compliant muscles that can't loosen up well.

foobella said...

I just saw this on the twenty minute challenge blog and I wanted to come over and tell you how much I loved it. =)

Nancy Van Blaricom said...

Fresh, clean and lovely. Well done!

Barbara M. said...

Hi Laura,

You are a super painter. 20 minutes.

Amazing.

deepazartz said...

Gr8 in 20 mins! Will chk tht blog out:)

RHCarpenter said...

You got so much information show in only 20 minutes - that's the sign of a quick painter who also thinks quickly about composition. Nicely done.

Judybec said...

"musical still-life" sounds like great fun!! Thanks for sharing that.
Your 20 min. painting turned out marvelous -- wonderful exercise!

ps, thanks for suggesting the Tombow markers -- I googled them and the dual brush tips sound fun --I'll give them a try next time I order supplies.

Liana Yarckin said...

the bright, clean colors caught my eye immediately. love the high contrast and variety of defined and soft edges.

WatercolorArtist said...

This is truly lovely. I am inspired! I also love your artists' quotes!

Jennifer Lawson said...

WONDERFUL!

Srishti said...

Laura! Good to have found your blog! I LOVE your pantings! So lovely! This one is definitely my favourite!

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