Friday, 22 March 2013

Putting My Happy On ...


It has been the most insanely frustrating week I have had in a long time
and it is not pretty when I am frustrated
I stomp around like a mad woman, scowling and thinking the world is out to get me
I snarl at life in general and have a short fuse
in short I am a nightmare to live with
so in the interest of the family not cowering in terror at the sight of me
I am coming clean and taking a break from bloody acrylics


I used to love working in, and even teaching acrylics
until the fateful day I found watercolours
and then that old relationship soured a touch
I admit it I fell for watercolour's many charms
the clear, clean colours
the gorgeous light and the speed that I could work
the way I could combine drawing and pen with it so easily
it seduced me big time
so much so that going back to acrylics turned out to be a bit of a chore
it was kind of like that awkward meeting at some bar
when you run into an old boyfriend who was a bit of a dud as it turns out
I spent all week trying to find something nice to say about acrylics
but basically I just wanted to make a rather hasty retreat


Now I am not so fickle as to abandon it all completely
indeed I decided I would do a test just to make sure I wasn't being hasty in my judgement
and I acknowledge this is a touch over the top
but I painted the same thing to various degrees three times
once on canvas with acrylics which started this whole palaver in the first place
and I'm not unhappy with the underpainting, but it just takes soooo long
it felt like my very life was draining away with every layer
then on watercolour canvas with the appropriate paints
but it was all types of wrong, did weird things to the colour of the paint
and was crazy unstable... nightmare really
and finally I gave in and did it on some pen and ink paper in my newer style
though I went really big... 34cm x 48 cm big
which is 10 in x 14 ish inches I think... don't quote me on that but around there
So big that it won't fit on the scanner so you have to make do with the dodgy photos big!!!


The watercolour was the hands down winner
 it took no time compared to the other two, the colours were gorgeous
it didn't even bother me that I didn't have a big mop brush so the washes weren't perfect
or that the paper buckled a bit
I could forgive the imperfections and enjoy the process in a way that I hadn't been with acrylics
so acrylics are being given the heave ho for now
they can just go back to the corner and wait until I am in the head space to revisit them
and I know I will at some stage, just not this week, or next, or maybe the one after that
Instead my grumpy, frustrated self can go join those canvases in the corner
and I am putting my happy back on and playing with watercolour and ink
because for now it is all about exploring working big and having fun
have a great creative weekend everyone...xx

Linking up with Paint Party Friday...



My last few links are here for you if you are interested...


64 comments:

Tracey Grgic Potter said...

So glad you are embracing what makes you happy, there is a light, freedom and spontaneity that you achieve with watercolour on paper that is stunning. Can't wait to see you break out into a series of bigger works on paper! Happy weekend. xx

VonnyK said...

Even when you have a bad time, your work is beautiful. Sorry those mean acrylics wouldn't play the game. I have to say, I prefer them. Water colour is fun but if you make a mistake (and I do plenty), you can't correct it like you can with acrylics. The biggest pain about acrylics is that you don't get those gorgeous bright colours.
Hope you are smiling again :)
Von.

Laurie said...

I understand completely, you just can't force it can you, I went from oils to acrylics, to watercolors, I flipped back and forth from acrylics for a while and some paintings I just prefer acyclic, but hands down I love watercolors, one day it just might be the time you take the acrylics and just go to town, they will be there when you're ready.If not so be it, your work is amazing in any medium!

my cup of tea said...

If mama aient happy...nobody happy!
LOL! Do what you LOVE! Paint your own path! That is what you do best! :)
~Donna~

Terrie Purkey said...

Interesting comparison. Usually I hear how difficult watercolors are to work with - the blooms, the splotches, the difficulty in achieving bright color, etc. I started in watercolors a few years ago and really liked it but felt drawn to try acrylics after reading so many various art blogs. Now I happily play back and forth between the two. The difference between us: I can't draw worth s*** and I use paint mostly for abstracty backgrounds. You on the other hand draw beautifully and I absolutely love your use of watercolor! Stick with what works and what you love!

froebelsternchen Susi said...

always wonderful to come her to your art Tracey! Happy PPF!
xxx Susi from Austria

current monthly theme over on
ART-JOURNAL-JOURNEY
is: special moments

Lime Tree said...

This is SO funny! I have a very hard time with acrylics as well. You summed up so beautifully why watercolors are so amazing. Can't beat that! :D
I would say your rough week was because of the end of Mercury retrograde and those acrylics experiments ;)
It was a weird week over here as well but finally it is over! Yay for the light, breezy, easy-going flair of watercolors and beginning of spring ;)

craftattack said...

Love what you have made! Hope next week will be less grumpy for you! Valerie

www.dorissdaughter.com said...

At least you tried it out and discovered what really works for you. It must be a great relief to be able to put those acrylics away!

bella lullo said...

Sempre una meraviglia che stupisce e incanta i tuoi lavori!
Bellalullo

sharon said...

Funny how different mediums work for us at different times! Still looks great to me.

Redanne said...

Oh Tracey, I so wish I could create stunning work like this when I am in a bad mood! The kitchen arrangement is fabulous!

HollyM said...

Well, you've got to do what makes you happy! We can't have grumpy can we? But really the joy of creation is what it's all about so go with it.

denthe said...

Well, at least now you know! Painting is all about having fun, when it becomes a chore you better start doing something else ...

Nic McLean said...

you see that's funny because I've gone the opposite way. I used to use watercolours - they were the only paints I ever used and I didn't even own any acrylics until my husband bought me a cheap set to try out and I've never looked back! I think for me I like watercolour when I just use it as a wash over ink but I get frustrated because I can't use them the way I think they should be used - you know 'proper' watercolour landscapes that are all washy and bloomy and wonderful. I can't do it so I don't bother trying. I love that acrylic is so forgiving and that I can paint over a cow's fringe 6 times until I get it right - you just can't do that with watercolour!! Still, isn't it great that we know what we like and what we're good at and you are very definitely good at watercolour and ink!!

Arnoldo L. Romero, MLA said...

LOL! I love your analogy of acrylic painting to encountering your old boyfriend dud in a bar. I love acrylics, because they are so much more forgiving. However, the process is definitely slower and the brilliance of the colors is not there. Blessings!

Anne Manda said...

Looks glorious, what ever the medium! Those blues, those reflections.. love! I've never tried acrylics...

Elissa said...

Happy PPF! I love visiting your blog and as someone still experimenting with everything and still loving it all, perhaps I'm really not qualified to comment on acrylics -v- watercolours at all... so, haha, I wont!

Love, love that blue mug.

Nicole Beadwright Campanella said...

Now I am just the opposite. Acrylics are good for me, water colors, well let's just say you impress me with your talent to use them. Happy PPF
Nicole/Beadwright

Deanna said...

Your post gave me a little giggle. Sorry to find humor in your ranting but it reminded me so much of myself. Except that I found oils and love working with them and find watercolors that I once loved so difficult to work with. But I am pushing myself to try new things with all three painting mediums and figure the worst that will happen is I'll paint over it or it will end up in the pile of 'not so great' pieces of artwork.

Head Krazy said...

You know... It's totally okay to break up with acrylics... Sure they'll mope for awhile, and stare longingly at you from the shelf until you kick them to the curb, they might even try to wheedle their way back into your heart for one last sympathy romp, but eventually they'll move on... Or dry out, and their absence in your life will hurt less and less. One day at a time my friend... One day at a time.... Stay strong and watercolour on...

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

Yay! Grumpy pants has left the building! ;)
Good to see you happy. Love your work. Looking forward to seeing what else you find in your kitchen drawers. :D

Jez said...

I'm not sure what your New Style is, but it still knocks me over. I love the faint shadows on the wall in the paintings. What patience you have to paint the same thing three times!
Enjoyed the grumpiness descriptions.

Sandra Busby said...

I'm sure this is a stupid question... but have you tried using acrylic like watercolour? Heavily diluted with water? I thought it behaves in much the same way as watercolour that way... but maybe I'm wrong!
I also miss the spontaneity of watercolour at times. And I just want to feel happy and comfortable in what I'm using, so I don't blame you for going back to watercolours for a while if your getting frustrated! Every now and then I think I'll try something new, but I almost always go back to oils! Then again, I am determined to use watercolour in my sketches from now on :0)
Your utensils look just marvelous! I have one of those pink, silicone brushes too :0)

Marji said...

Well, first I think they are all wonderful. But, now you have me worried a bit - I'm supposed to be working in acrylic for an upcoming project and I don't know one thing about it. THought I'd just jump in and it would all go fine... Being that you are having troubles and grumpy bouts - I'm worried for my poor unsuspecting husband. May have to warn him of upcoming bad weather :)

Viola said...

It's so fantastic to see how you paint! =)
I should have tried more acrylics too. acrylics are environmentally friendly (did I say that correctly?).
But I fell for acrylics.. I might change my mind.. I use to do that for periods.. Now it's a long time since I last painted or drew.. :O
:)

Viola said...

oh pardon me..

acrylics are environmentally friendly? I meant water colors of course! :o And that I should have tried more water colors..

Netty said...

whatever you paint and whatever the medium you use everything always looks great. Methinks grumping is your fun...lol
Happy PPF, Annette x

http://nettysartadventures.blogspot.co.uk/

Faye said...

I'd be more than pleased if I could do those utensils in any medium. I agree, though that the watercolor wins hands down. Beautiful work, Tracey. I love the style you have now. I really am overwhelmed by the corkscrew. Wow!

Faye said...

I'd be more than pleased if I could do those utensils in any medium. I agree, though that the watercolor wins hands down. Beautiful work, Tracey. I love the style you have now. I really am overwhelmed by the corkscrew. Wow!

Helen Campbell said...

I wish I could get the effects you can with watercolor... or acrylics. Your art is fabulous whatever you use, but using the medium that makes YOU happiest is the right thing to do! Really, your family will thank you. Happy Friday!

Ginny said...

No matter what medium you use, we will all love it. But as you already know, it really is about having fun while we are creating something. So glad that you are back to enjoying your watercolors.

Linda said...

whatever you paint with it always looks fab but I AM especially fond of your gorgeous watercolor sketches!!

Rita said...

Aha! I first played with watercolors and then ink and watercolor--not that I am any kind of artist, mind you. I tried oils once. They are sitting in a box. The past year or so I have been trying acrylics in mixed media--and they are just so weird to me...flat and sharp and unforgiving. Oh, I do love the Silks--but that's because they are an acrylic glaze so they have transparency to them. I find I keep going back to watercolors or I'm trying to thin the acrylics to use more like watercolors--LOL! You just made my day, lady! :):)

Christine said...

Lovely work! Interesting that you now prefer watercolours. I find acrylics very forgiving as I can just paint over mistakes.

Catherine Constance said...

So know what you mean about acrylics. Time for them to hibernate for awhile... :)

JoyCorcoran said...

I had a blast this week with acrylics (it stays where I put it), but I love to work with ink and watercolor, too, so I'm going to continue to be poly-art-supplious. I had teacher who wanted me to give up pencil for ink but I love them both. However, when one medium speaks to you, no other will do. I'd like to add that your skill is in your vision and eye, which will always bring a fine sense to your work, even if you have to curse and reject it. Thanks for sharing your processes.

Catharina said...

I perfectly understand. Watercolour is MUCH more fun!

Mary C. Nasser said...

Gorgeous paintings.
I've said it before, but I'll say it again...brilliant blue!!
♥♥♥
Happy PPF!!
Mary
Mixed-Media Map Art

Carol said...

I have that type of relationship with watercolors..... I try and try and just can't get it right and get frustrated and shove them somewhere for long periods of time. Do love your though ♥

Gloria in CA said...

Oh Tracey, you are so good at what you do, be it acrylics or watercolor. I know what you mean though. Watercolor is really growing on me as well. I love your pieces. Excellent job on all.

Giggles said...

Everything you do is PERFECT to me...so whatever floats your boat is the route you should take!! I love acrylics because watercolor hates me... does that make any sense? Plus acrylics love to blend and are all about color...just like me!! Your painting accuracy and tenacity blow me away!!

No more grumpy pants for you my dear!! I'm sure Sinus and Phantom WILL be thrilled and the little rug rat too!!

Hugs Giggles

Cynthia Garner said...

Haha.....too funny.... Watercolours Rule!!!
I'm with you on pen and watercolour....it 'encourages' imperfections....love it...

blessings,
Cynthia♥

Maria said...

Wonderful!!!!

Beth Morey said...

Wow your illustrations are amazing!

Dawn said...

I like them all, looking at the photo with all three I prefer the one far right as I look at it. But the point is YOU have to be happy with what your working with so go for what YOU like best and save the rest of the household :) xx

Victoria said...

I love all of your works..they are all beautiful and brilliant..! Love the strong blue..fabulous! and yes..go with with you feel most drawn to..it is your magical flow and should feel natural to you..shine on! I started in acrylics..then discovered watercolors..fell in love with them too..I especially love painting on cardboard...I know, weird eh? then I also discovered I love combining both watercolors and acrylics on canvas..magical for me!
Happy Creating..shine on friend! Follow your bliss..
Victoria

Laura Moore said...

Interesting post especially as I am a watercolour girl through and through. One more plus side for watercolours; they take no time at all to clear up. :-) Love the artwork as always.

Jane Wetzel said...

lol great post...I am trying to keep water coloring! your art is fabulous water color OR acrylic! tfs

janice smith said...

Good choice, Tracey and if you're happy, we're happy. I have always admired watercolor from afar...afraid of the medium myself but just in the last few days something has shifted. I am falling completely in love with the clarity and ease of it all.

Joni Nickrent said...

LOL...love it! I feel that way about oil pastels and colored pencils! :)

missy k said...

what a dilemma!!! only you!!!

i am so glad you are back in a happy place!!!

karen x

Lynn Richards said...

First of all, I believe you are beyond patient if you can work so fabulously well with watercolor. I favor acrylics because I can cover up what I call mistakes!
Second, well, I forget, but basically your work is amazing. I love seeing the three put together and I agree with you. Your paper pen and ink are magic.
xo
lynn

Erika said...

It looks wonderful! I love blue colors too. Hope, you are feeling better now :) and have a beautiful weekend!
Hugs
Erika

pauline said...

Tracey...dear dear Tracey... ;-) you're wonderfully talented with any medium you use, but why were you pushing yourself with acrylics? (which, btw, look fabulous to ME!) Your style with watercolor is amazing to me... so i totally understand that you prefer the watercolors. (i actually love them too). It's ok to ditch the acrylics. Why spend time with anything that makes you feel frustrated? That's the job of a marriage. LOL! xox

Kristin said...

I totally love them both, but this cracks me up. I love the bold colors you get either way. You can't stop the talent with you - no matter what those products try to do to you! xoxo

Jane said...

How funny, I just received a whole lot of acrylics and did some first timers...and was astonished to how 'easy' it was compared to watercolor :-) But I think change is good and after having done a lot of one thing you just want/need to change...so be happy and follow your heart :-)

Cris, Oregon Artist said...

You always make me chuckle when reading your posts. I need time to spend here so I can really enjoy it all. I so understand your feelings about acrylics.. now multiply that with OILS that take FOREVER to dry. I too am onto watercolors and ink. I wont abandon my oils, but I will keep enjoying the immediate satisfaction of using watercolors. HPPF

Jessica Sporn said...

I LOVE that you painted your still life three times with three different mediums. And your cork screw - I love that you painted it and its title. Visiting your blog always makes me happy! Happy PPF (on Saturday!)

Manon said...

stay happy stay with water colours. I know this feeling so well I am trying to come away from my preferred medium and I am
feeling moody too:/\#
manonx

Ritu Dua said...

Oh Tracy you just need to take a deep ...very deep breath and then do just what your heart tells you to do...whatever you draw and paint should bring a smile to your heart as it does to mine whenever I am here :) This weekend i had a magnificent art bus tour to see what I did visit me :)

Colleayn said...

Great post! I'm glad you know what you like to use best. I started with watercolor and couldn't figure them out, so I sold them at a garage sale. Then fell in love with acrylics, then oils. Now I am re-buying the watercolors I sold, putting the oils and acrylics away, and having fun creating art in a faster and more fun way. It is funny how things change. I figure do what you love and all will be well.

minnemie said...

Fr all the frustration the acrylics gave you, your writing gave me a terrific laugh:-) Knew I could come here for a lil' "pick-me-up" :-)

Neesie said...

Now that is dedication for your art Trace...trying all of them out to test your theory!
I have to say I'm sticking with watercolours and ink for now.
I had visions of Momma Bear stamping around and had quite a giggle. ;D
As you probably are aware by now...I'm trying to catch up with all of your posts that I missed over the last few weeks. I think I'm developing RSI from all the scrolling down I'm having to do to reach the comments box!
Do you know how popular you are???
Yeah well rightly so :D
xoxo