From Pretty to Not Bad
Today’s watercolor at the Art Students League went from pretty to not bad. I have to admit that one of the worst compliments someone can make of one of my paintings is that it’s pretty. Pretty = insipid, not impressive, not powerful, not … a lot of things to which I aspire.
So I had done a relatively insipid watercolor based on the chaotic still life setup and hated it. When asked if there was any way to salvage the painting, Frank (Frank O’Cain, the instructor) hesitated and then replied, “You could paint on the back.”
Unfortunately, I had already done another unacceptable painting on the back, so that wasn’t an option. In frustration, I grabbed the biggest brush I had handy and started slopping in color. Fifteen minutes later, I had created something that both Frank and I considered to be “Not Bad.”
I’ll go with “not bad” over “pretty” any day.