And so to the delightful Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft to see an exhibition of work by Corita Kent.
Now if your reaction to the name Corita Kent is the same as mine was, namely ‘who she?’ – then I think you’re in for a treat. Here’s a little film that can fill you in better and more interestingly than I ever could:
The exhibition at Ditchling is really delightful and Corita comes across as a really wonderful and inspiring person and teacher. Aside from her work, one of the things that really connected with me was a set of rules that she’d written up for her students. Now the world of watercolour, as in so many other areas of life, is full of rules or advice that you ignore at your peril!
These rules are broader, however, and just really made me smile, made me think, and made me wish I’d had such a brilliant teacher at art college!
You can find out more about Corita on the website Corita.org.
Some of the rules resonated with me more than others but, I thought that Rule 9 is a particularly great mantra to live your life by…
Be happy whenever you can manage it, Enjoy yourself, It’s lighter than you think.
…and one that I feel I need to remind myself more often during those times when I’m feeling a little overwhelmed!
I think that Rule 6 is also worth bearing in mind when considering this week’s watercolour offering:
Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail. There’s only make.
After the big sky painting that I dashed off last week on a quarter sheet, I was keen to try another big sky painting but at a larger scale, so I moved up to a half sheet. The view was similar but the cloud formations were very different.
Someone has kindly compared this painting as having ‘more weather in it’ than the first effort. All I can see however is an overworking of so many areas! Last week’s painting came together spontaneously and freely. This effort was much more laboured. I kept on misjudging the moisture of the paper, sometimes letting it dry out too much before applying paint, sometimes trying to create effects when the paper was much too damp – as was particularly the case in the foreground. It’s not a disaster, but it doesn’t have the lightness of touch that I prefer for this type of scene.
Recalling how I felt when I painted this, and what was running through my mind, I shall also try in future to abide by Rule 8:
Don’t try to create and analyse at the same time. They’re different processes.
The #30x30DirectWatercolour2018 challenge is well into the home straight now. The only problem I have now is that the UK is enjoying a rather unusual uninterrupted spell of fabulous weather, which I feel has been sent to thwart my mastering of the moody skies and cumulus clouds! Here’s how my 30 skies of June is looking with only a few days to run:
With this week’s forecast, there’s every likelihood that the remaining skies will be rather dull washes of cobalt blue! I may have to revert to some other reference photos I have from earlier in the month, but I’ll keep an eye out on this week’s sunsets! Either way, I look forward to revealing the final result of this endeavour next week. I’m just hoping that I’ll be able to remove all the tapes without damaging the paper as I think it’s become rather attached over the past four or five weeks!
I’d love to hear what you think about the rules according to Corita? Are there any that strike a particular chord with you?
Meantime, I’ll leave you with Rule 7:
The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all the time who eventually catch on to things.