If at first…

Why is it that so many artists, including me, think we’re going to get it “right” the first time? I know that producing good art requires practice, trial and error, and problem solving. But I still get frustrated when things don’t turn out to my satisfaction.

CohoesFalls-study_800

Cohoes Falls- 1st attempt

So it was this week when I tried to paint Cohoes Falls in upstate New York. On my first go, I just didn’t get the drawing right. I found it hard to simplify the landscape into shapes that I could tackle. And I didn’t really figure out the values before trying to add color. The result: a piece that’s blobby and confusing.

Cohoes Falls, NY

Cohoes Falls, done in micron pen and watercolor in Stillman & Birn Zeta journal, 5.5×8.5

So…turn the page and try, try again. Here’s my second attempt:

It was challenging to capture the magnitude of the falls and landscape in my small journal…to get the full width of the falls requires reducing the height. An accordion fold journal might work best. But that would take a third try!

About Cohoes Falls: New York’s second largest waterfall (behind Niagara Falls), Cohoes Falls is 1000 feet wide and 75-90 feet high. Several dams divert water from the falls, so the volume is of water over them is not full force, especially in summertime. Still, they are mighty impressive. There is a terrific park overlooking the falls and, when conditions permit, a stairway and trail that allows access at the base of the falls.