September 22, 2023


How Art Works

Shaking It Up – Views from The Artist’s Highway

3 min read

Shaking it up

Views from The Artist’s Highway

Canyon Sunrise, Watercolor on Yupo, © J.M.Hulsey
Canyon Dawn               Watercolor on Yupo

  Tright here is consolation in mastering an inventive medium—typically taking years, perhaps even a long time, to turn out to be fluent sufficient with our supplies and instruments in order that we are able to categorical ourselves with confidence and fluidity. We come to see them as outdated dependable mates whom we are able to belief with our tenderest inventive notions. Nevertheless, after a while carrying on efficiently on this mode, we are able to truly turn out to be too comfy and slip dangerously near repeating, in variations maybe, what we all know the way to do finest. That is thought-about a fascinating achievement in nearly another occupation, however not artwork.

   Each time we sense that we’re doing a little bit of sleepwalking by way of our work, we attempt to shake it up by some means. There are various completely different methods for this. It may be helpful and enjoyable to attempt to work in an unfamiliar medium or maybe on a brand new type of floor. Attempting one thing new modifications the best way we’ve to reply to the supplies and in so doing, modifications the best way we take into consideration making artwork. It may possibly problem our notion of what’s attainable for us. All good issues. 

   I had been working for many years in watercolor utilizing primarily Arches paper and located that my method to portray was getting drained. I made a decision that this was the time to tackle an unfamiliar portray materials and see what would possibly come of it. The fabric I selected is offered below the title Yupo, and has gained a following amongst watermedia painters particularly. It’s made from impermeable polyester and can maintain watercolor washes, however will also be washed off clear with water. I knew of Yupo, however had ignored it till I noticed a few of the marvelous work my pal and grasp watercolor painter Mark Mehaffey has been producing. “Wow, that appears like enjoyable, and I have to have enjoyable with portray!” was my first response. Certainly, when you watch any of Mark’s Yupo movies, he’s having enjoyable. (Take a look at a few of Mehaffey’s newest Yupo summary work here).

Water Lilies, Watercolor on Yupo, © J.M. Hulsey
Waterlilies                    Watercolor on Yupo

   I ordered some Yupo, which is available in a pair completely different variations, and commenced portray on it. For anybody used to the best way cotton paper behaves with watercolors, neglect nearly the whole lot . On Yupo, washes puddle, pool and blend collectively in fully other ways. Strokes don’t mix collectively properly in any respect, so the floor has a really calligraphic look. In case you have your desk on a tilt, as we do with conventional watercolors, then the washes of coloration all slowly run downhill to a giant muddy pool on the backside. Good! A problem was what I needed and now I had a giant one. I’m nonetheless experimenting with this bizarre stuff and I’ve to report that it’s enjoyable to work with exactly as a result of I don’t know what I’m doing or what I’m going to get, if something. You’re seeing a few of my experiments right here. Better of all, it is vitally straightforward to right—simply wipe off with a towel, and voila! clear Yupo, able to go once more. No worries of ruining costly paper – simply freedom to play. Attempt it your self, chances are you’ll discover it’s precisely what you’ve been searching for.

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