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.

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    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 …

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      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!

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      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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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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