The Reach / Christmas Cactus Collage

Based on the feedback I received from my colour test from my newsletter and social media, I tried a few other colour tests, incorporated a few suggestions, and ultimately selected the “green” scheme. It was the most popular, but what I inclined towards as well. It was very valuable to do a colour test, get feedback, and push the direction of the image further instead of just going with my gut instinct or first idea.


the reach watercolour painting
11″x15″. Watercolour. ~2016


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I think it turned out fairly “clean” in terms of technique, even though my mask failed and I had to repaint so much. Maybe that’s just how these masks work. I’m not entirely sure what I feel about the artwork, having originally created the pencils in a down-in-the-dumps mood, then bouncing in and out of that state, and going with something the feels more energetic and refreshing for colours in the end. I felt compelled to reuse the same bi-flag colours as I used in my Biphobia piece. Maybe it’s just hard to feel anything when I feel completely drained by life, so maybe it will say something more to me later. On the aesthetic level, it feels pretty solid and I feel good about that.


I also managed to completely forget about this piece I did based on my cactus. I kind of go from one piece immediately into the next. I finished this months ago! I really enjoyed creating this “collage”. I think it’s a great way to observe a subject thoroughly, have little patches of experimentation and texture, and end up with a completed piece instead of random sketches all over a sketchbook.


Christmas cactus collage watercolour painting
Watercolour on watercolour paper. 12″x17.5″. Observational collage of sketches from my Christmas cactus. ~2015


The major issue with my current studio situation (or lack there-of) is space. The issue with watercolours is also that they need a frame. I have neither frames nor space to hang and reflect on my own artwork, so they usually just goes straight into my huge black portfolio, where they are flat and safe, and don’t see light again ions. I’m making an effort to take out the artwork more often and look at the real thing, instead of the image on the computer – which is hardly the same experience. Looking at my own work is paramount to seeing progress.

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