Monday, March 9, 2009

I've Been my first love

I cleared my drawing table, put away my pencils...and got out my watercolors, brushes, and paper. As I neatly placed my drawing stuff on the shelf and closed the door...I did feel just a little 'unfaithful' to the thing I love, but I did promise to return.

I started trying to paint water color maybe 10 years ago and my instructor stressed so strongly the importance of drawing and composition and being able to 'see' light and shadow that I laid the watercolors down and took a drawing class. The drawing class rekindled my childhood love...and you know the rest.

I've written often in my comments on other blogs and in the things I write here that I am a "watercolor want-a-be". I have never lost my desire to conquer 'watercolor'...I'm always drawn to the medium as I look at your websites and blogs. said you wanted to see. I wasn't going to post anything until I was satisfied but thought my 'journey' might be an inspiration to others who want to try a new medium.

My love is of course Portraits and Still Life...and would love to someday be able to paint some street scenes. Yet I chose to start with flowers because I thought they would be less complicated and help me practice the layering of colors and once again learn my pallet.

I probably struggle most with watercolor styles that I like and what I am able to do now. I'm not a patient person and very critical of my work. Right now...I tend to rework too much and wow, staying away from the wet areas was a challenge. In my drawings I start on one side of the paper and move to the other...this jumping around to stay out of the wet areas so the paint didn't run together was a challenge.

My plan is to paint again next weekend. Most likely more of the same 'simple' subjects. I'm still trying to learn my pallet and get a feel for the process.

Be kind. Remember '"I'm still just a watercolor want-to-be"....with much to learn.

Sincerely...I'm very open to critique and would love to here what you have to say. This is a learning process and I'm no where near where I want to be.

Website ...Marsha Robinett Fine Art
The Extraordinary Pencil...blogspot
My Squidoo ...Drawing Techniques


Lisa said...

Wow Marsha -I think your super talented. I love (and am very impressed) by your first attempts at watercolor. I know what you mean about staying out of the wet areas, too. That happens to me with my lettering layers!

Marsha Robinett said...

Thanks for your encouragement. I did a little watercolor years ago...and I mean very little. I had forgotten how quickly it goes compared to pencil drawings.

I hope to be able to concentrate on my painting more in the next few months. This is the first step.

Terry Krysak said...

I say WOW too!!!! These are beautiful watercolors.
I honestly don't think you are a wanna be, you are already there in my mind.
Well Done, I hope you continue on with watercolor.

Marian Fortunati said...

Good grief, Marsha..
It seems everything you do is gorgeous...
Ha!! A watercolor wanna be YOU ARE NOT!!

Woodward Simons said...


You are very good with watercolor! I do instructional articles for Watercolor Magazine, and I'm a realist like you are.

If you have any struggles with the medium (and it doesn't look like you have any), please feel free to email me at:

It took me 6 years to get a handle on the medium.


CountryDreaming said...

At first I was going to point out a suggestion based on what I personally would change, but looking at all four of your watercolor examples, I believe what I'm looking at is your personal style ... in which case I say, keep things as they are, because you are honestly communicating YOU and your own very unique message to the world.

What I'm noticing, more so in your bottom two images, less so in your second from top, and least so in your top image, is that you seem to pick out one particular area in your work in which a color is either noticeably darker or noticeably lighter than in the rest of the piece. (As in, the deep dark red flower to the right of the tulips, the bottommost light pale purple bloom, the fresh bud rising above a full bloom, and the upper sunflower leaf.) This can in fact serve as both a point of interest and your trademark.

Jan Pope said...

I think your watercolors are just terrific. I, too, share your desire to conquer the media, but alas, I struggle with it. And I return to my first love - colored pencils all the time.

But these are just lovely. And isn't it nice to take a break from the pencils and feel the fluid move under the brush.

It can be just as inspiring and motivational as anything else. I think that the intermingling of the media and techniques in the mind just spawns new idea.

So keep on experimenting.

Marsha Robinett said...

-Terry and Marian,
I refer to myself as a "watercolor want-a-be" because I want to paint differently than what you see here. I want my pencil work to show more and be a little less contrived... Looser would probably be a better word.

Actually I want portions of the painting to be quite loose, incorporating the drawing and other parts to show detail. It's this vision in my head that frustrates me.

My brush and paint do not yet express what I want to say. Most likely this is because I still don't know how to handle the is still handling me.

-Lori Woodward
Thank you so much for the vote of confidence. Coming from an artist of your stature, just means a lot. As I progress, you may very well hear from me.

-Country Dreaming.
I appreciate your critique. I don't believe I've arrived at my style yet...but I was trying to create a focal point in each painting. Because of my drawing experience...I really seem to get into those deep shadows. I just like contrast.

Absolutely, this is a nice break from drawing. My challenge in going from pencil to brush is to stay loose and 'paint' instead of 'draw'. I think working a little larger might help with this. Thank you so much for the kind, encouraging words.

Kpeters said...

I think your work is MUST do more.Sometimes we really need a break on gets the creative juices going!!
Well done!!

Belinda Lindhardt said...

Wow these are just beautiful, i every now and then get my watercolours out and i too am a "wanna be" you have done a fabulous job, i am sure your cpencils will take you back ! :)

Teresa Mallen said...

Lovely work Marsha! I especially like the sunflower. Congratulations on exploring new territory!!! You go girl...

Anonymous said...

HI Marsha,
The beauty of your art is knowing where it comes from, your heart. Be easy on yourself God leads each of us and in this journey shows us the beauty within and this is what the world sees, embrace that which God has made-you!! I am a student first and foremost in whatever medium I paint in, and each is a story to enjoy, not to compare or to judge. It's ok to be in a new phase, life is all about renewing everyday--a celebration. I like your work, and if I was painting watercolor, like you, I'd be painting Abe in color, now can you see the beauty in this challenge? Which commission to sell or both opening even more new doors-you can do portraits.Thanks for sharing your work-and thanks for the great help this past year-you are very blessed- best wishes, jimmy

Jennie Norris said...

Beautiful Marsha! You are definitely not a wanna be. I especially like the sunflower. It looks like you're having fun, and that's the most important thing. I can't wait to see more!

Marsha Robinett said...

Thanks for the encouragement. Yes I do plan to do more and I have to admit that trying a different medium has been exhilarating.

From one watercolor want-a-be to another...get those paints out and use them. I will still draw. In fact I have a portrait commission due before June. But decided to give my pencils a rest for now.

-Teresa and Jennie,
The 'Sunflower' is most definitely winning out as the favorite.

What can I say..your comments are always uplifting. As for Lincoln in watercolor, we will have to see?

I am overwhelmed and so encouraged by everyone's response to a few flowers. I just hope my next painting weekend is as productive. Your comments have served to push me forward.

Thanks so much to everyone.

Angela Finney said...

I will add "BEAUTIFUL"!

For being "starters" as all have said, they show quite a bit of mastery. I look forward to seeing more. I do wonder if you could point out the ones that get closer to your vision.

I switched from oil pastel to colored pencil and also had those unfaithful lover feelings -- I felt the need to get tighter (LOL) but will be traveling the road back to looser some day.

Marsha Robinett said...

You hit it on the nose.."unfaithful lover"...that is exactly what I felt like as I placed my pencil tray in the closet and took out my watercolor stuff.

As for the one closest to my vision..actually none of these. Perhaps this weekend I will do something more to my liking.

Thanks for your comments.

Karen Hargett said...

Hmm, I thought I had commented on this post - guess not. Marsha you are very talented lady - I knew that but these watercolors are great! Can't wait to see more. I know what you mean about what is in your head and what appears on paper and how it can be different and frustrating. These are lovely so I can't wait to see what is in your head!

lois said...

Well, you little dickens you! Marsha, your watercolor pieces are beautiful! I've seen the work of others who claim to be watercolorists and their work falls far short of yours! Keep it up, girlfriend. But, don't forget about your pencils... I think I can hear them whimpering in the closet.

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