Daily Prompt: Breaking the Law

Daily Prompt: Breaking the Law.

We are asked today to `fess up about the last time we broke the law – not just silly little things but big, bad `naughties`.

I didn`t have to think too hard about this one – I know exactly when I last broke the law – it was last Saturday.

As some of you know, I am an artist – I also teach art. Last Saturday I went to someone`s house as a Christmas present! The woman`s husband had `bought` me to spend a day with his wife teaching her watercolour painting.

I knew she had dabbled a bit and she had also told me over the telephone that both she and her husband had spent a couple of hours with an artist having tuition when they were on holiday last year.

When I arrived I was taken to a very pleasant conservatory already laid out with a large trestle table and chairs. So out came my paints, brushes, paper and other bits and essential bobs I carry with me. To begin I demonstrated a very simple landscape to give her the idea of laying a wash of colour (sky), small cottage in mid-distance and sloping hills and fields. All was well until I went for the green on my palette and she appeared shocked `Bur the artist I went to last year said I should never use a ready-made green`. I explained that there were a few ready made greens that I did use but that I always mixed them with another colour before applying them to the paper. I then began to tell her that I was going to put another wash of blue over the green hills in the background to make them look further away. She interposed again – `But the artist I went to on holiday said you should never put more than one coat of paint on the paper`. Oh dear. I explained I very often mixed colour on the paper and, indeed, when painting my large flowers very often applied 10 or more coats of paint – one over the other in order to obtain the intensity of colour I was seeking . I then explained the importance of using transparent colours and of not mixing too many pigments when mixing colours.

She listened attentively to what I had to say and watched as I worked. She was then going on to repeat the exercise for herself with my help and supervision and she produced a very pleasant painting.

I don`t like to criticise any fellow artists` method of working or choice of materials – one other canard is that black should never be used and some artists shudder visibly at the very mention of Payne`s Grey. There are very many so-called `rules` in art but in my view the only rules are those that are meant to be broken.


12 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Breaking the Law

  1. As an artist myself (acrylics) I whole heartily agree with you! An artist has no rules, but those they make for themselves. Even those get broken eventually as they grow.


    1. Thank you for visiting my blog Jackie and for your comment. I too work in acrylics and for the life of me cannot understand why so many people start off working in watercolours as beginners – it is such a difficult medium – but there you go …


      1. I’ve enjoyed looking around your blog. You are very good. I started out in oils, but quickly went to acrylics. I’m impatient. haha!


      2. I started in oils aged 11 but had to give them up a little while ago because I had breathing problems (now cleared up) but I gave all my oil painting stuff to my son and can`t justify the expense of replacing it all – so acrylics for me now. Thank you for your remarks – glad you like my work.


  2. I love your take on breaking the law. I was wondering where you were going to go with this, especially after reading yesterday that you had a career as a lawyer.


  3. You go girl — do whatever gets the job done with your paintings! If it makes a nice, enjoyable piece of art, then NOT doing it because some senseless rules say something archaic against it would be the real crime.


  4. Oh Becky – I am far too long in the tooth to worry about senseless rules – but then, I have always done my own thing. Mind you, I am always willing to learn a new technique – one should never stop learning.


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