Painting for the (Trash) Bin

The aim of being an artist is the ability to create. But with this desire of wishing to constantly achieve wonderful paintings that can be framed or exhibited comes an enormous amount of pressure on our shoulders. We expect to always succeed in our goal to capture a scene or subject on paper or canvas. I strongly believe it is this stress factor that can put off the beginner or lead to gaps in a professional artist's life, where they simply don't feel like picking up a brush. Or it becomes a point of despondency because one thinks he or she will never able to reach his or her goal.

I painted this watercolor exercise (with cadmium yellow and French ultramarine blue) for fun, for the bin, and with the aim of simply achieving vibrant fresh color on paper with texture effects for added interest. I painted this watercolor exercise (with cadmium yellow and French ultramarine blue)
for fun, for the bin, and with the aim of simply achieving vibrant fresh color on
paper with texture effects for added interest.
In this watercolor painting for the bin, pigment is breaking up by use of simple water application. I refer to this watercolor painting technique as "water flow." Indigo and French ultramarine blue formed amazing patterns in the experimental wash. In this watercolor painting for the bin, pigment is breaking up by use of simple water
application. I refer to this watercolor painting technique as "water flow." Indigo and
French ultramarine blue formed amazing patterns in the experimental wash.
Abstract result from purely experimenting with watercolor and textural effects. Abstract result from purely experimenting with watercolor and textural effects.

In my studio I start and close each day with color experiments that, over time, have improved my art and knowledge of the medium I am working in which is watercolor. In my watercolor painting workshops I encourage everyone to experiment simply with color first rather than always aim to create a masterpiece straight away.

The fun and light mood in the room whilst this experimental part of my sessions takes place is incredible. I sometimes get the feeling many artists are so serious about their work that they have forgotten how wonderfully enjoyable the experience of creating can actually be!

This fun process has aided my own growth as an artist, led me to completely new and exciting discoveries in watercolor painting techniques, and increased my passion for painting. While I am painting for the bin (which is what we call the trash can in Britain), I often unintentionally create pieces that are perfect for framing.

I do constantly stretch myself by looking for new color combinations and pigment reactions. And I am not alone in loving this experimental way of approaching each new day of painting. I am increasingly fascinated by the reactions of artists attending my demonstrations. The joy they feel when told not to paint a subject but to simply love working with color for a change is amazing. I think possibly being given permission to "play" instead of always aiming for that special painting frees our inner artist and pushes us on our own road of discovery.

So the next time you don't feel like painting, how about  letting go of all your inhibitions and self-imposed restrictions, and free yourself by doing this exercise:

Paint four scraps of paper with different colors. Set yourself the challenge of making each one unique. Increase the challenge by not allowing yourself to use your favorite shades.

Look out for great experimental results and use them in your more serious compositions. Most of all have fun, aim for the (trash) bin in your warm up sessions and surprise yourself at how amazing your experimental results  become.

Paint for the bin more often and take the pressure off of your shoulders. I was once told if your bin isn't full, you haven't practiced enough! Although be warned, this exercise can become completely addictive, and that means taking out "the trash" more often!

Jean Haines

You can read more about Jean's watercolors on her website and blog. Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Jean Haines

About Jean Haines

 

International watercolorist Jean Haines SWA is well known for her passion for working in her favourite medium, watercolour. Having lived and travelled in many countries this popular artist has had the opportunity to develop her skills creating incredible paintings whilst under the influence of masters from many countries including Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Living in China was a time when studying brush control had the greatest impact on the evolvement of Jeans style. Later working with artists from India and Pakistan introduced vibrant colours in her results compared to her previous more quiet watercolours created whilst living in Europe.

 

The combination of East meets West in her style is unavoidable and to be enjoyed. Free flow of water along with no fear of working directly minus the use of a preliminary sketch leads Jean to amazing results that often leave viewers of her working in awe. Light and the use of beautiful colour along with the ability to take any ordinary subject and turn it into an extraordinary painting with consistently unique results is what many artists aspire to achieve. Furthermore Jean has the ability to install enthusiasm and inspirational motivation in all around her.

 

Paintings by Jean can be found in homes all over the world. Favourite subjects are highly sought after from galleries as are places on her ever growingly popular workshops. These are always restricted in number of places to ensure the value for those attending.

 

Jean is a member of the SWA, Society for Women Artists, and won the Anthony J Lester Award in 2009 during the SWA Annual Exhibition where her work was likened to Joseph Crawhalls from the famous Glasgow Boys. She regularly writes for leading art magazines and exhibits in a number of established galleries.

 

"Atmospheric Watercolours" her new exciting book will be released in 2012 and follows the success of " How To Paint Colour and Light in Watercolour" launched in 2010.

"Amazing Ways With Watercolour" Jeans popular DVD was filmed  by Townhouse Films in 2011 and  shows demonstrations on a variety of Jeans favoruite techniques and subjects.

 

 

4 thoughts on “Painting for the (Trash) Bin

  1. This is an excellent idea. It’s too easy to get caught up with having to paint something frame-worthy every time. Having the freedom to paint just for the sake of experimentation or learning or fun is a wonderful thing.

  2. When I completely mess up a painting (in acrylics) I just sand it down, gesso it, sand the gesso until smooth and just start another painting so I don’t have to trash it..

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