One week of strange visions

I’m over 1/6th through my 60 day challenge. How has it been? Oh it has been a rocky road. I always knew that x day challenges are a back breaker for me. Posts won’t come in the same time everyday, some days I won’t get to draw anything and there will be too many merges for the days lost. But, I didn’t give up on it altogether. I’ve found a perfect hour to paint or draw. Right after lunch.

But this challenge has been so weird I’m surprised at my daily visions.

I did these digitalized black pencil drawings of mountains for days 5 & 6.

Digital art of white and black streaks on a white background.

And this strange field for day 7. Again, a digital artwork. I liked the negatives I created without assigning any meaning to it. Just a few possible visions. At this point I think I was refreshing my mind for new images I could create. And next? A canoe.

Soft pastel drawing of a canoe stuck in snow.

I was truly starving for inspiration at this point. And I turned to pastels, which is quite a change for me! I drew this piece inspired by John Harney’s beautiful photograph.

And for days 9, 10 & 11, I tried painting the same image in my head with different color palettes.

So far, I’ve found this challenge very rewarding. I think I’m learning more because of how much I want to create in a specific time frame. My favorite work so far is the watercolor painting from day 9. I just love the subtle pink and varied brushstrokes. But I’m also daydreaming of that canoe.


Ice rink surface

That’s it. I wanted to ice skate but I couldn’t, so I felt like touching the surface of an ice rink. See you tomorrow!


A day in the park

It’s been a while since I’ve been to Central Park or even seen snow because of where I live. But I always enjoy watching videos of children and puppies playing in the snow. This year, it’s been extraordinarily virtual, but in a good way. I’m glad such an option is still feasible.

For the second day of my 60 day challenge, I’ve chosen to continue the black pencil streak and see where it takes me. Unsurprisingly, it took me to Central Park. There were children with parents, dogs, the elderly, and lots of snow. I also went to the ice rink to skate a little bit. But then I got so tired I fell into the pond.


First day

I imagined the first day of my 60 day challenge to be the hardest. I announced yesterday in my recent post that I will be doing a challenge to help me pass time in peace. It’s been difficult focusing on life and keeping track of time, let alone painting on a fixed schedule. But I found this challenge to be on a good start.

As I said in my post, the first artwork will be a black pencil drawing inspired by the Fauves. I’m not sure if it matches the picture I had in my head, but it is inspired by the things I’ve been experimenting with lately. And there is even one more thing that will add to its quirkiness: it’s digital. I broke almost all the rules there were when I began playing with fauvism in watercolor. But the way I see it, fauvism is all about breaking the rules. So why not go back to the basics to redefine the rules?

Here is the digital drawing I made.

Digital black pencil drawing of a river, or a road with rocks on and around it.
River or road, Multimedia, 5×5, 2021.

I’ve been realizing how much I paint and draw the things I don’t particularly like when I’m out of the picture. It’s like my hand automatically designs skies and bodies of water. It’s not that I’m against painting nature; I just don’t see myself in the pictures I create. And I’d like to be able to enjoy every scene I’m making. So this time, I thought of expanding the possibilities of the vision. Is this a digital demonstration of a river? Are the black areas rocks on a road? I may never know. But I feel like I want to dive into the drawing. Don’t you?


Pierre Boncompain’s flowers living in the modern age

There’s always a freshness to a vase of flowers trapped in a painting. Sometimes it’s the colors, or its the petals, the leaves, the vase, the strokes. Everything can make a difference in the scenery of a flower being displayed, even at the slightest amount. But this particular painting of Pierre Boncompain is one I’d like to analyze.

Pierre Boncompain, Valence, 1938

I’d like to stick with the color palette. It’s a light and monochromatic palette that plays with the hues of the same colors. But the contrast is there. The yellow flowers easily dominate the frame against the white vase and cream surface.

Now what would I do to Boncompain’s flowers if I were to keep them today, and trap them in my own painting? First, I’d take them out of the vase. Not that flowers aren’t in vases anymore, I’d just like to see flowers in petal to stem yellow. What would I do for the background? An unclean contrast. I think the pollution of today would have a place in my painting. And that’s pretty much it. I have a background with a bouquet of flowers; tulips that is.

I did this drawing using soft pastels. I wanted to keep some the contrast between the white color and the yellow from Boncompain’s work. So I left some of the paper untouched.



I pass time with grayscale moments. Like when I’m waiting for my hair to grow back, I draw something like this that depicts my cut hair. It may come back. Not just my hair, but those moments that seemed simple when they were the present. It will eventually, but I like to think my hair will grow faster.


Pencils and starting again

The title says it for the most part. I find some art blocks to be harder to overcome than others, which is why I take a break from color and begin with pencils and charcoals again. Not a specific art style, not a specific aim but to find inspiration as I keep my hand moving with art. Here’s a self-portrait that reminds me of sketches I would do in high school.


Linear continuation

I didn’t begin this year with a new year’s resolution. I’m not one to commit to something when it’s attached to the concept of time. I haven’t tried any 100 day challenges either. But I like to begin everyday with a project that will give me an experience I can build on.

I’ve realized that I’m gradually tiptoeing away from blending colors. My bubble journey toward Fauvism has showed me what I really want to do with my artistic abilities. However, experimenting with an art style sometimes hides the reasons behind an artistic expression. I say that because I’m far from reaching my own unique style that will be firm for the years to come.

In this drawing, I used colored pencils. As I mentioned in my most recent revival, I’m running out of art supplies but I’m not intending on purchasing new ones due to my moving. But I’m still trying to color straight from the tube, or pan, or pencil- if you will. Up to this point, I worked with the rounded brushstrokes with watercolors. It surprised me how much I liked that expression. I liked the way the white paper decorated the colors and round strokes. But this time I thought of something that would continue that decoration differently.

It’s interesting how much a small difference can change the outcome of an idea.


Breaking the rules

One of the most amazing artists I know taught me an incredible but essential element of composition. I’m not going to mention it because it doesn’t apply to this painting, but his teaching made me think about my bubble journey in Fauvism.

He told me “now it’s okay if you’re going to break the rules, but that shouldn’t be the case always.” Then a thought popped in my head. I have to know the rules first in order to break them. That’s why so many pioneers went from a strict art form and then gradually stepped toward another. They broke the rules of the art form they were committed to because they knew how it should have been done.

I’m on another ride. I’m only learning and exploring at the same time as I try to commit to an art style, or an artistic bubble that won’t pop anytime soon. Oh well, I have a long time to discover that.


Waterlilies: Impressionism or Fauvism?

I’m finding my exploration of Fauvism very rewarding. When I began studying the works of Henri Matisse and Andre Derain, I imagined the steps they took and what they were thinking when they were painting. I’m sure they weren’t thinking of opposing to Impressionism every second of their career, but it’s sometimes difficult to conclude whether your actions are motivated by decisions or oppositions.

I tapped into one of my favorite collections, by one of my favorite artists in my first revival. I spoke about attainting the right vision you’ll need for your artistic journey (or career) and now I feel that confident with the lens I’m looking through. Waterlilies is a collection that can astound anyone when they take experience Monet’s fluency in French Impressionism.

To avoid exhausting the subject, I will dive into my main source of inspiration. I was fortunate to come across John Harney, a wonderful photographer based in Connecticut. His new photo of waterlilies urged me to paint, but he continuously inspires me with every shot. Here it is.

The colors and saturations of this photo are unmatched. It would actually make for an incredible impressionist painting. But this (I) wild beast ins’t going down that path. The whole purpose of this revival is to oppose impressionism, just like the Fauves did long ago. However, I had my own oppositions with Fauvism too. For example, I’m continuing to paint with watercolors. It is weird and untraditional, but it is liberating.

I’m quite happy with the way my painting turned out.

Watercolor painting of waterlilies in a colorful pond.
Waterlilies in Litchfield County, Watercolor on paper, 5×7, 2020

I think the most valuable prize that comes with painting (and Fauvism) is learning about your own art style within the form you’re exploring. I can see my brushstrokes being rounder rather than linear, just like my handwriting. My colors are often more pigmented than watery. I’m also more keen on small brushstrokes, just like my preference for smaller paintings.

I will also be selling all paintings due to me moving in a couple months. I can’t wait to see my paintings hung in their new homes! Contact me via the commissions form if you’re interested in purchasing any of my work.