That’s the way I want my watercolors to look, as if they just dripped onto the page. To me, that’s what makes watercolor unique. While I am a representational painter, I like to create work that is just on the edge of abstract. It is more interesting to me than a highly detailed, realistic approach–but, I firmly believe in being accurately expressive.What do I mean by that? I love to draw, and drawing to me means creating forms that have volume as a result of accurate value relationships. I also love to capture gesture, this is what gives a drawing or painting energy and movement. To me, a drawing that is accurately expressive captures BOTH the sense of dimension and the qualities of energy and movement.
For example, in the painting above, the light is clearly coming from the right on the forms of the tulips. They look round and cup like, not flat. At the same time, the individual petals meld and overlap onto one another and it is impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins, but it doesn’t matter because this is what gives the painting it’s expressive accuracy. If it were to have been painted in a very tight, controlled manner, it might have a more realistic appearance, but it would lose much of its expression. By combining the concepts of form, value, proportion and perspective with an expressive manner of mark making and paint application, expressive accuracy is achieved. In other words, it is the way to capture not only what is visible in terms of the subjects physical structure, but the intangible qualities that tell the viewer what the artist sees in the subject.
To me, this is what makes a painting a piece of art. If I can’t see what the artist sees in the subject, they have not shown me anything I can’t see for myself. The subject needs to transcend reality, to become something new, and not simply a copy of something that already exists.