I’m not a great fan of charts and competitions. Even ‘the fastest runner’ or ‘the team that scored most goals’ seem fairly nonsensical and, when it comes to spheres like art or music, it makes no sense at all to me to try and pick out the best of the best. However, I can’t deny that a certain level of judgement is valid and, to that end, I’ve been looking back over the thirty paintings I produced during June for the 30x30directwatercolor project.
I’d still struggle to pick out a ‘winner’ but there are ones that I’m very pleased with and others that I’d be more inclined to categorise as ‘meh’. I do think that switching up to better paper made a difference to the quality of the end result and also how much I enjoyed painting them. That said, one of my favourites (a shortlist of nine) was from my last day with the lightweight paper of the sketchbook (the Bible, with its simple colour palette and textured surface effect).
More of my favourites are found in the second half of the month than the first half, like the Garden Meadow (where masking tape helped me capture the brilliant yellow of the flowers in an unmown section of lawn) and the vibrancy of the second attempt at the Loughborough Terrace scene. Then again, sometimes earlier pieces were stronger (compare self portrait #1 and #2). Sometimes, that is down to the time I had available and sometimes a particular piece just flowed or struggled.
It was a worthwhile exercise though and I’ve got, if nothing else, ten or more new paintings I will be happy to give wall space to. Meanwhile, before next June, I’ll see if I can produce more both direct and with whatever level of underdrawing and overpainting I care to use.