Last month I came across an old video recording of the NJ Watercolor Society’s 50th Anniversary Exhibition in1989. The clip below is from the television program “NJ State of the Arts”. The exhibit opened at the Montclair Art Museum and then traveled to the Noyes Museum where the filming took place, and the exhibit closed at the Morris Museum in Lincroft, NJ. I can still recall driving down a deserted NJ Parkway during the tail end of the ’89 blizzard.
There was no size limitation for the exhibit giving me the opportunity to exhibit the largest watercolor I’ve done to date. Measuring 70” x 40”, “Pamelia” took 3 attempts to accomplish what I was looking for at the time. Spending nearly 6 weeks on the first attempt, the face eventually became overworked forcing me to scrap it. The second attempt was scrapped in the early stages after one week into the process. The third and final version shown below was executed in 2 weeks.
1988 - Watercolor on Arches 140lb cold pressed paper, 70" x 40"
Working on one piece for 6 weeks and scrapping it certainly can be disheartening, but this is not at all unusual for someone working in watercolor. One can view it as a thorough study of the subject before executing the final painting, and in the end this enabled me to greatly simplify many passages of the painting.