My Watercolor Blog

October 26, 2016


Filed under: Uncategorized — Elizabeth @ 10:24 pm


Thank you Chef Adeline Grattard, your words inspire this post (Chef’s Table series via netflix). “Now I can feel that a cuisine [you make] reflects what you have inside of you. It’s an expression of your inner life…It’s really about giving something from the heart and giving something from your personality…It’s the story of our lives…” She also warns of becoming too dependent on recipes, that this will stifle and not be alive. She seems to listen to herself in that moment to know what it will be right to create, I mean what she has in her to create in that moment. Does that make sense?

If I follow all the rules I’ve read in so many art books (for one thing they conflict so it’s not possible) then the product can be rigid and dead. Of course I listen to all the teaching I can get through the books for technique and ideas but that is where it stops. Sometimes I have to think pretty hard to get a painting where I want it to go and I have to be willing to fail. I discover along the way and so sometimes the direction necessarily changes. When I look into the eyes of the pig I’m trying to paint, I can think out loud humanity’s relationship to that pig. What is that really about and what are all the possibilities? Can we completely change the way it is popular to see a pig? Can the story be rewritten? Of course it can. Anthony Bourdain can become so bored with his cuisine that he can become vegan. He is curious enough I think, it’s possible.

Back to method, sometimes a subject is so daunting I can only do pencil/paint sketches, color studies and thinking for hours and hours over many days before my sureness and confidence comes around that I know which way to try. In the end whether it is liked or not, technically skillful or not, it’s our personality coming out. And we’re all constantly creating – thoughts, conversations, intentions, opinions (tons of those) – we’re all creative all the time.

If we don’t take the time to listen in, the project can get away can’t it? The more listening, the more sureness. Then accepting it’s all you have – you are going to put you out there. There’s a limit about that but also there is a kind of infinity too isn’t there? Because that is living. If we give a formula, it’s dead right? We can’t listen to those because there is nothing being said.

A note on painting the pig:
After a week of color studies for the pig I realized there was something more I was looking to this painting for. The idea of greed and calling an action piggy etc. Was coming up. It was right after Christmas and a three day meditation retreat. I want to free the pig from being villain-ized, to reflect that. I’m also unconvinced that villainizing our greed helps us find ways to free ourselves from it.



  1. Dear Betsy, I was so glad to receive this information . I have long loved your art work and I study your paintings every time I visit your mother.

    I would like to purchase some of your cards – hoping that your mom has some available if I go to visit her in November. And I can’t think of any better venue for your appropriate subjects than the farm that helps helpless animals to heal.

    Thank you again for keeping me on your lists. Susan Cureton


    Comment by Susan Cureton — October 29, 2016 @ 3:33 pm

  2. Dear Elizabeth, I have just sent you a message (Dec. 24, 2017) about your wonderful book about Watercolor Painting Animals. I sent it as an email but then I rec’d this message. Sorry I got mixed up. Your book is wonderful and I wish you all well for success. Merry Christmas, Susan Cureton

    Comment by susan cureton — December 24, 2017 @ 10:33 pm

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