I just took my bike out for a ride before the winter sets in. I'm really excited for the spring to come because my best friend and I are going to do an advanced rider course at the Riding Academy of NJ. Anyone looking to learn how to ride a motorcycle should definitely check out the Riding Academy. It's really important to take a safety course before you get on a bike and the Riding Academy has a fantastic program. I'll write a blog post review after I've taken the advanced course in the spring.
I've been learning a tremendous amount recently by painting these watercolor scenes. For me, I've learned that I need to use big brushes, squint a lot and stand back from the picture a lot. For the brushes, I don't mean to use something insanely big, but larger than I normally use.
This works for me because I tend to over emphasis smaller details, when I should be more focused on the larger picture. The details also don't matter unless the larger composition is correct. It's an endless search for balance between the larger picture and the details; neither one is more important than the other, but I am focusing more on the larger picture for now.
I'm working on some new paintings and I've been thinking a lot about technique lately. My new watercolors have been a real joy to paint and I plan on taking that same freedom to my oils. Recently, my viewpoint on technique has shifted to a more free approach instead of a narrow approach. I'm going back to a mindset that I used to have when I was at the Pennsylvania Academy in my early twenties.
I value spontaneity in paint and I want to follow my instincts instead of specific rules. The only rule I have now in terms of technique is to do what I feel is correct and follow my gut. I'm going to be doing a bunch of new work and I'll keep writing about it on this blog!
I recently pulled out an old portrait from my freshman year at the Pennsylvania Academy. The portrait was painted from life of an old friend of mine. I really like the portrait and I decided to paint a new watercolor painting from life also. The new watercolor is a sketch of my girlfriend and I'm really proud of it. My new work has been inspired by rediscovering the artist John Singer Sargent. I really love Sargent's portraits because I love portraiture myself; it's a beautiful challenge to capture someone's emotion and expression.
I'm going to be doing some new paintings soon that have less focus on technique and more focus on enjoying the act of painting. I'll do a wide range of subject matter also; portraits, figure painting and landscapes. Also, in oils, watercolor and drawings. I'm very excited about this new inspiration!