Thursday, May 14, 2015

Finally-All the Text is In

I just sent the book Introduction, the final installment for my book, to my editor. It's been a long journey that started last May.

Writing and organizing the book has mostly been a quite enjoyable experience. Since watercolor is a subject that I'm quite comfortable discussing, the content wasn't too problematic. Explaining the concepts clearly required some creativity and numerous rewrites however. Nonetheless I have found the process quite rewarding. It forced me to rethink some of the ways I teach and think about watercolor. 

Many times I reread sections and asked  "What am I trying to say here?". There's nothing like time and fresh eyes to improve bad writing. I found it worked best for me to just get something down, and then revisit it a couple of weeks later. That way, I had something to react to.

I have used my own paintings throughout the book to illustrate the ideas in the book. Two of those are on the right. Many were done expressly for the book, though for the most part I used existing work. 

North Light books places greater emphasis on images than text. To facilitate this, I designed the entire book in InDesign to ensure that the images and text work together. I can't imagine any other way to do it. Seeing the images and text together was a invaluable. I'm also hoping that this will help to communicate my intent to the graphic designer.

So I'm on a book hiatus until mid-August when I get the edited book for my final review. Kristy, my editor, now takes the text and does a "hard" edit. Until now, she has mostly just made sure that everything was turned in and complete. The serious work on her part now begins. She tells me that she is quite happy with what she has seen so far. I'm quite curious to see what she does. Again, some fresh eyes might do some good.

The final title will be determined soon. The working title, Painting Light and Color in the Modern Landscape, is no longer in the running. I've come up with a few alternatives and she is doing the same. Any suggestions for something snappier are quite welcome.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mendocino Workshop

Back-to-back weekend workshops can be a bit draining, but last weekend's worksop at the Mendocino Art Center was quite energizing. Although we never saw the sun, an fit was sometimes arctic outdoors, I had a very inspired group of 14 painters who were willing to face the elements.

I did have to do my demos indoors, since the morning temps hovered around 50 degrees and the fog was so heavy that it made standing around watching me too uncomfortable. Plus, the classroom had a mirror so everyone could see. I did do my studies and line work outdoors, but brought everyone back to the classroom for the final painting.

Both of these paintings are from basically the same location behind the center. One looking down the adjacent lane, and the other looking north toward the magnificent cypress tree.

The Mendocino Art Center is quite a vital venue for workshops. The center is undergoing something of a renaissance and there were many artists about. I'm looking forward to returning next year.