01 November 2013

Silver Jubilee Part Three: Operation Waterstorm


22" x 15", watercolour, 1998

Toward the end of December 1997 I developed bronchitis and it got so bad by New Year's Eve that I was bedridden, so no party for me. I hadn't been painting very frequently since taking on a full time job in the control room at The Shopping Channel where I was one of the Chyron operators, transcribing item information from our database to live TV. I painted from time to time, but there wasn't any concerted effort to create thematically-linked pictures or anything like that. I was creative in other ways, as well; in the summer of 1995 I made a comic book parody of The Shopping Channel and its bizarre items and overall zany nature in a book called "Bargain Betty" (one day I'll post some highlights).
Around this time I also had a number of various freelance design jobs creating t-shirts and posters for a few theatrical productions and CD layout and design for a few local bands.

But it was on New Year's Eve 1997 that I decided I had to get my ass in gear and become a better painter, and that would take a lot of effort and concentration, so I challenged myself to paint (or at least average) one painting per week for the duration of 1998. And because I like titles so much, I called the endeavour Operation: Waterstorm. I had been taking a lot of reference photos of friends for some time, so having a vast resource of images to draw from, I got started as soon as I felt better early in January 1998.

Below are highlights –the better paintings– from Operation: Waterstorm, in motsly alphabetical order, and the one above, appropriately entitled 52, marks what would have been the end of the project had I not kept going on to finally paint 63 watercolours that year.  Note the continued use of the matrix pattern in many of the backgrounds.

Most of these have their own blog posts, so if the title is blue, click it to read more about that painting.

11" x 15", watercolour, 1998
private collection

11" x 15", watercolour, 1998
private collection

22" x 15", watercolour, 1998

22" x 15", watercolour, 1998

22" x 15", watercolour, 1998, private collection

15" x 22", watercolour, 1998

15" x 22", watercolour, 1998

15" x 22", watercolour, 1998

22" x 15", watercolour, 1998
private collection

11" x 15", watercolour, 1998,
private collection

Coke Addiction 2
11" x 15", watercolour, 1998,
private collection

11" x 22", watercolour, 1998

22" x 15", watercolour, 1998,
private collection

11" x 15", watercolour, 1998

15" x 22", watercolour, 1998

12" x 22", watercolour, 1998,
private collection

18" x 22.5", watercolour, 1998

22" x 15", watercolour, 1998

22" x 15", watercolour, 1998,
private collection

Gravity Loves to Win
22" x 15", watercolour, 1998

15" x 22", watercolour, 1998,
private collection

22" x 15", watercolour, 1998

22" x 15", watercolour, 1998

22" x 15", watercolour, 1998

22" x 15", watercolour, 1998

22" x 15", watercolour, 1998

15" x 22", watercolour, 1998,
private collection

22" x 12", watercolour, 1998

15.5" x 14.5", watercolour, 1998

22" x 15", watercolour, 1998

and suddenly...
15" x 11", watercolour, 1998

Timing is Everything
22" x 15", watercolour, 1998,
private collection

11" x 15", watercolour, 1998,
private collection

15" x 22", watercolour, 1998

22" x 15", watercolour, 1998,
private collection

15" x 22", watercolour, 1998

15" x 22", watercolour, 1998,
private collection

By the end of this massive project I had learned a lot, not least of which was that I still had a long way to go if I were to consider myself a good painter. But I was making some pretty good progress as far as technique and composition were concerned. I was also getting better at photography, especially when it came to lighting. The next area I had to work on, though, was creating thematically-linked paintings...











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