Watercolor ‘wet-in-wet’ in real life

June 4, 2013

treaty now color

Returning home after watercolor class, I was struck by a portrait published on the front of last night’s Mx, a free newspaper for Sydney’s train commuters. It occurred to me that we don’t see that much “wet-in-wet” effects in real life, but here’s one: the black/green/yellow smoke at a rock concert (see above the microphone at upper left).

I went on to do two watercolor sketches of the singer on the front page but I won’t publish them because of cultural protocols; everyone in Australia knows who I’m talking about and his family have requested his name and image be withheld from public dissemination till the end of the requisite mourning period.

That didn’t stop the publisher of Mx and The Australian newspaper from publishing his name and image anyway, an act of racism up there with the recent Adam Goodes and Eddie McGuire incidents. After the football stadium incident, a 13-year old girl was taken away by police and interrogated by police for two hours without an adult present; Eddie McGuire dismissed his racism as a “slip of the tongue” and the editor of The Australian indicated publicly last night on ABC TV’s Q&A program that journalism outranks human rights every time. And today, Pauline Hanson is re-entering politics. Enough said. One day being Australian will be a great thing, but not anytime soon.

I was pleased with my portraits and will follow up with other non-European faces after seeing recently a post by a Bangkok sketcher, whose schematic of a human skull depicted a non-European. As a Westerner (living in the so-called “Asian Century”) I need to enlarge my vision of the human figure in my art-making beyond the European. I see no non-European models at life class and only Western faces in art textbooks.

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