Back in October/November I took an online class at a local art center to try out the medium of gouache. In a few posts I’ll show you the work I did and tell you what I learned. I’ve got a selection of paintings to show you and I can’t remember in what order I did them, so I will arrange them by topic or by the information learned. In other words, I’ll be skipping around! Take a look and see what you think.
I’m going to wrap up my gouache experience with little images I made with the extra color in my palette. These two are just swishes of color, vaguely landscapish, with no plan but enjoying the colors.
This little picture is another quick sketch with the extra paint but drawing on my immense imaginary population of odd people doing odd things.
I have to say these are among my favorite images from the class.
Now I’ll tell you what I came out with from this class. I looked over my list of goals that I set out in the first post and I think they were all met, maybe in ways I did not expect.
As background, during this time I had been strugggling with some vision issues. Several conditions converged to give me trouble and the variety of doctors I had to visit, specialists covering the cornea, eyelid, and interior of my eye, could not pin down what exactly was causing my problem of double vision in my left eye only, after an infection and a cyst removed from my eyelid by surgery. I was fearful, distracted, and…not seeing well. I had not yet begun to accept what had happened to me and that the outcome was unknown.
And, I didn’t feel much of a connection with the teacher and my fellow students. You might say, well, it was an online class, that is why, but I have taken a lot of online classes and found them rewarding in terms of how the students and teacher made a cohesive group. I do feel my vision issues affected my ability and willingness to participate as well, so maybe my attitude was not as open as it could have been. Whatever it was, sometimes you just don’t find the people you are working with to be a good fit. It’s no one’s fault.
So, these feelings affected the class time and my work. I took that into account in evaluating gouache. I like the chalky bright colors you can achieve. I also like that it works so well on paper.
However, I dislike the feel of the paints as they go on – sticky. I paint in layers, and gouache is not as friendly to that technique as are acrylics. I don’t like the re-wettability of the painted surface, because for me that makes it hard to use with other mediums or in collage. I think gouache requires a different thought process in planning out and handling a picture – and I don’t much like planning, I prefer to make it up as I go.
I’ve come to the conclusion that while I might take it up again later, there are a lot of other mediums I like a whole lot more. In the past, I might have said, Oh, I should give it more time, but my vision problems and well, just the way things have been the last couple of years, now I say, Life is too short to be doing things because you think you should…
So I plan to set aside my gouache paints, but I won’t let them go, and if the urge strikes me, I can get them out and get to work. But they won’t be my first choice to work with, most likely.
I’m glad I did the class and found this out for myself.
Thank you for following along with me on this journey!