The Effects of Painting Big and Simple

Rose on Couch (watercolor, 14 x 20)

Over the years, my painting has changed. I make a point of reflecting on what I?ve done and on what I need to do to keep myself amused. I keep changing what I?m looking for; it?s one way of not being bored. Right now I?m looking for big, extended areas that have to be painted in one fell swoop. It?s much harder to do a big, simple painting! Big and simple! To paint large areas in watercolor at one time?that?s hard. The painting that has small, intricate areas may look harder but is actually easier. When you paint very large areas, there?s no convenient place to stop. You can?t stop. You have to do it all at once. It?s hard but exciting to pull off.

I like big, simple paintings that show the artist?s skills at observation. If the artist can draw and it shows, so much the better. In watercolor I love the light reflected through the paint. After 36 years of painting watercolor (I started young!), I?m not even remotely close to being bored.

“I don’t believe talent is all that it takes to be an artist. In fact, I believe than anyone can learn to draw and paint?as long as he puts his mind to it. It’s part physical labor and part mental exercise,” says Cyd LaBonte. Although she has painted since childhood, LaBonte didn?t take watercolor seriously until she was in her mid-30s. A first prize award in the international Arches Watercolor Competition in 1992 was the impetus for launching her professional career. A “land of Lincoln” native, LaBonte lives with her husband, woodworking artist Robert LaBonte, in the countryside outside Springfield, Illinois.

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