CATS OF JUNE 2019 ART CHALLENGE – DAYS 17 TO 24 : WATERCOLOUR
I want to talk a bit more about how Painting is Like Lucid Dreaming, but first, here’s a lil video, followed by the 8 Watercolour Cats from Days 17 to 24
DAYS 17 TO 24
” IT MAKES ME WONDER, IS THE PAINT CONSCIOUS? “
PAINTING IS LIKE LUCID DREAMING
Something I mentioned in the last Cats of June Blog Post, was how Painting is like Lucid Dreaming. The more I think about it, the more it really does feel like a analogy.
Basically, in a Lucid Dream you become aware that you’re Dreaming and can start to Manipulate the Dream Environment. Manipulate is the perfect word, you don’t Control it, much like how In Painting you Don’t Control the Paint.
The Brush is your Dream Character, the Paint is the Dream Environment.
When Painting, you decide where the Brush goes, like how in a Lucid Dream you decide what your Intent is.
You don’t control the Dream Environment; the Dream itself does; you don’t consciously create each individual Tree, Brick Wall, or even Dream People. You only decide what, or where, it is you Intent to go or see.
Maybe you become Lucid in a Dream and Intent to go to Egypt. BING! Egypt is in front of you. Pyramids, Statues and Egyptian People all over the place, but you never consciously created them. You can start manipulating them, but Ultimately You and the Dream are Working Together.
It’s like the dream has a mind of it’s own.
Painting is the same. You move your brush across the canvas with the intent of creating a scene from Egypt, but the paint will decide what it looks like. Colours may mix into new hues, or the paint may trickle down the canvas creating Shapes that resemble people, Happy Little Accidents as Bob Ross used to call them.
You and the Paint are Working Together.
IS THE PAINT CONSCIOUS?
Painting is so much like Lucid Dreaming. Even though my skills are limited and these Watercolour Cat Sketches are far from Spectacular, I still had moments of watching the paint almost move across the paper on its own. Sometimes I would look and think, yeah, that’s perfect. Or, that’s nice, I would never thought to have done that.
If I ever tried to ‘correct’ something, more often it would result in the painting looking worse. The Paint Knows What It’s Doing. Which makes me wonder, is the Paint Conscious? Is there something controlling the Paint as we work? Does the Paint have Hidden Rules that will control how it Flows and so these Happy Little Accidents can be controlled if we learn the Rules?
It may sound unlikely, but it reminds me of 2013 when I was in the middle of a marathon Drawing Session only to suddenly realise my hand was drawing on it’s own. I popped Out of My Body and was watching my Hand Drawing on it’s Own. It left me in a completely confused, but awe struck state. That moment started me off on this Spiritual Journey. I’ve always wondered, who was in control of my hand that day?
Maybe one day you could become so conscious in a Lucid Dream that you’re able to place every last grain of sand in the Dream Environment. Complete Control. But you know what, thinking about that sounds pretty boring. It would be too Predictable, there would be no Surprises.
This is what I love about Painting. More so than Drawing, Painting is full of Surprises. All you have to do is Let Go and Embrace the Moment, just like in a Lucid Dream.
LINES AND SHAPES
I observed a couple other tings during this eight days too, firstly, all this Studying with SVSLearn’s How To Ink 2.0 course, has actually improved the quality of my Pencil Lines.
Jake Parker teaches you how to do long sweeping lines with the ink pen in that course, and I’ve found my Pencil Strokes are now a lot more Graceful, which is a Pleasant Surprise.
Something else I noticed was the Importance of Simple Shapes. These cats started out with Reference. I had a photo in front of me and was trying to recreate the photo in Pencil Perfectly, before adding the paint. As I got more into it I started to Let Go, Embraced the Moment and put the reference photos to one side.
I started instead to Create Simple Shapes in my head, with the Intent of turning them into cats. They become More Flowing, More Simple, and I feel, More Fun. Do they look Accurate? Probably not, but I sort of don’t care lol I was having Fun.
I do Wish my Skills were Better, so many of my cats were Ruined by Not Knowing When to Stop, or by trying to Mix Colours together on the paper. It was a very Playful eight days though.
Painting is a very Liberating Experience, no matter how Skilled you are. I can only imagine how much Fun it must be once you have more Control over your Brush, but than, in a funny way, maybe that will introduce a bit more fear. Maybe with increased skills there will be even more chance of the Paint deciding it doesn’t want to do what you want as it Drips all over your nicely Crafted Scene.
In that moment I would hopefully Smile, Trust the Paint Knows what it’s doing and let the Scene play out in front of me.
THE NEXT 8 DAYS?
It’s kind of good that I started creating my own Cat Shapes in the Watercolour, maybe I did that sub-consciously, because the final eight days are all about Creating Cats Digitally from my Imagination.
When I started this challenge it was going to be eight Custom Cat Characters in the hope of creating a pet for lilSOPHiE, but, I’m doubting myself. I will try, but I think I may instead do eight Digital Mysterious Cat Shapes with a Hint of the Human owner in the scene.
In my minds eye, I see lil Cats looking away from the camera, with lilSOPHiE‘s leg in shot, almost like it’s trying to tell a story.
Should be fun, trying to create Custom Cat Characters seems really scary. I always say with these Art Challenges you have to Adapt and try not to be Overwhelmed, while still Pushing Yourself.
So I will try, but if it turns out I’m trying to do too many new things at once, I will Keep It Simple Stupid and pull it back to a more comfortable place. I’ll be working Digitally, from my Imagination … two things I don’t do much, so I’m already going to be Sailing my Ship into uncharted Waters, I just have to make sure I don’t get lost at sea lol
You can find my lil cats on Instagram @SOPHiE.LAWSON but check out Joen’s Cats of June 2019 SVSLearn Forum Post for more information, and if you draw any Cats this June, tag them with #CatsOfJune to play along :)
” SOMETIMES THAT ‘FINAL TOUCH’ IS BETTER LEFT ON THE END OF YOUR BRUSH “
– Vivian Sathre
RELATED BLOG POSTS
I talk about Creating Simple Shaped Cats in Watercolour, how Painting is Just like Lucid Dreaming, and ask, Is Paint Conscious? This was the third set of 8 days for the 2019 Cats of June Art Challenge :)
I talk about Days 20 to 26 of Inktober 2018, where I Inked Seven Videogame Characters, turned Seven of my Inspirational Models into lilSOPHIE’s and did some Messy Ink Sketching … also includes an Inktober 2018 YouTube Video :)
I talk about Days 6 to 12 of Inktober 2018, where I Inked some Final Fantasy XIII Characters, turned more Artists Art into lilSOPHIE Drawings and Experimented with using an X-Acto Retractable Blade Knife to Fix Errors and Smudging :) Also includes an Inktober 2018 YouTube Video :)
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”