Sunday, August 5, 2012

wild squiggly lines

by Marietta Apollonio

Black, white and color. The basic description of any of my acrylic paintings. On a wall they are striped fun, with intricate line details. One painting will take about a week, with most of the time spent bending over a canvas with a 00 brush; my neck and shoulders feeling angry and my eyes blurry. The result always makes me happy. Like running 10 miles (which I don't actually do, but I imagine if I did, the sense of accomplishment would be the same).

 (River Town, acrylic on canvas, ©2011 marietta apollonio)

It's a process that couldn't last forever.  Recently I decided to jump back into watercolor. In fact, up until a few years ago, I primarily used watercolor, and had done so since attending the Art Institute of Boston's undergrad Illustration program. There I met possibly the greatest teacher I've ever had, Tom Barrett. Specifically I remember a day in his Illustration Techniques class, where for whatever reason I was unprepared and did not have the necessary tools for that days lesson. Tom let me use his watercolors. And I was hooked from there. I have carried that simple illustration of a broken pencil from place to place; up until not long ago when a very good friend begged to have it.

 (Dr. Ph Martins Radiant Concentrated Watercolor. Definitely my preferred type of watercolors)

Also during that same Techniques class I decided to merge pen and ink with my watercolors. I believe at one point during a critique it was "Here's Marietta and her crazy pen work". The combination, in my mind, finishes a piece. Often I look at a watercolor before the pen, and I get the overwhelming sense that it is not finished. I need that pen and the watercolor needs the wild squiggly lines. 

Herein lies where my watercolor and acrylic work is similar. Sure the mediums are different (although both water based), but the thought process is still the same for me. I like little details; adding in something small that only someone really looking will pick up on.

But why the switch. Well, I can't really say. Maybe it's nostalgia; looking back to my college days and remembering how much fun watercolor was for me. Maybe it's the heat of the summer and mentally wanting a lighter process (in time and medium) of creation. Whatever it is, I'm definitely enjoying myself and I hope that everyone else enjoys seeing it.

 (I began working on this illustration during the middle of July -- image ©2012 Marietta Apollonio)
Aquarelle Arches hot pressed 140lb
Dr. Ph Martin's Radiant Concentrated Watercolor 
Faber-Castell India Ink pens

(Note quite done. Still need to add some darker spots and then of course, pen -- ©2012 Marietta Apollonio)

(Pen added. Check. Finished. -- ©2012 Marietta Apollonio)

(close-up. -- ©2012 Marietta Apollonio)

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