Every artist who paints with watercolors knows you sometimes get those “happy accidents,” those wonderful effects you don’t plan and that just somehow seem to happen. The key is to recognize them (don’t try to “fix” them) and move on.
Frank O’Cain (my abstract watercolor instructor at the Art Students League) did a demo in July using my palette (he had forgotten his paints). Apart from the three beautiful paintings he created, Frank left me with a palette filled with lush red water and many blue paint wells, also filled with water.
I didn’t want to waste all that paint but couldn’t leave the water or it would start to grow mold. So I put down an 18 x 24 watercolor pad and started to drip the red paint/water onto it. Then I turned the palette around and dripped some of the water from the blue paint wells onto the paper. Interesting. This had potential, so I tilted the paper this way and that to make the colors run. Since it was looking more and more like a “happy accident,” I put the paper up on a flat surface to dry and proceeded to clean up my palette.
The next day, I intensified and developed a few areas, added more blue at the top, splattered some more blue, and washed out one of the red drips at the top that was interfering with the overall effect. Since it reminded me vaguely of a vision of space from Star Trek, I decided to call it Boldly Go.