The mother of adaptation and what the heck is Gouache?

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a well-known proverb. It means, roughly, that the primary driving force for most new inventions is a need. Perhaps a slightly different version of this that can be applied more commonly in my painting practice is "Necessity is the mother of adaptation." Simply put, I have less time, so I need to adapt my practice in order to continue to progress.


The busy season we find ourselves in our home offers less free time for long painting sessions I normally seek. I have found inspiration in the art practice of many painters I follow but two principal inspirations are James Gurney and my cousin Stephanie Berry. Both create art in many ways, but both are exceptionally skilled at creating art using water-based paints. I have very little experience in mediums such as Watercolor and Gouache.


Many people are familiar with watercolor paint, but most are less aware of Gouache. Gouache is a method of painting using opaque pigments ground in water and thickened with a gluelike substance. I’ve learned that many incredible artists paint in Gouache. Check out the SkillShare Blog post written by Ken Korman (https://www.skillshare.com/blog/7-artists-using-gouache-in-gorgeous-ways/) to learn more if you wish. One notable artist is Henri Matisse, who in the last decade of his life, used the simple materials of white paper and gouache to create a series called “the cut-outs.”


Despite my struggles related to learning these mediums, the use of watercolor and Gouache offer me one key advantage; I spend less time with setup and cleanup. I have quite a way to go before I am as proficient as I hope to be, but I have created some pieces in recent months. You can view them below.

Here's to a fantastic summer! Hope you get to enjoy all that this season brings!


Be well, Tom





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