"Develop an infallible technique and then you can throw yourself at the mercy of inspiration."
I mentioned this theme in my last article but just how do you develop an 'infallible' technique? The simple answer of course is that you never can - especially with watercolour, as there will always be the element of uncertainty caused when you put wet paint onto paper - but you can try.
I used to experiment with different techniques that I learned from other artists. I used to ask myself what would happen if I did this or mixed that...then go and try it.
I had to discipline myself to accept that not everything I attempted would turn out right or be a finished painting. This was harder than I imagined especially as someone belonging to a generation brought up to admire thrift and not be wasteful, but it was a great exercise. Gradually I learned how to create the effects I wanted in a specific situation and eventually I was able to concentrate solely on what had inspired me in the first place.
It was a bit like learning to drive. At first you have to concentrate on pressing the right pedal, changing into the right gear etc, etc but gradually after a lot of practice, this becomes automatic and you can concentrate on where you are going!
When I finally did learn to relax I began to have fun and this was reflected in my paintings.
So if you ever come across me staring vacantly into space..."please don't wake me, please don't shake me..after all I'm only dreaming" about my next painting!