Week 13: 6x6x2017 Watercolor Painting

For the 7th year and a row I’ll be participating in the 6x6x2017 RoCo fund-raising exhibition with my students. The first time I created work for this exhibition I did so as a graduate student, together with a couple of friends. Ever since then, I’ve used it as a nice bonus credit challenge each spring for student’s who have never submitted their work to anything before. This show is a great way to get a toe wet for foundations students but it is also a great exercise for me too (as I always participate with them – as I do with many objectives).


This year I decided to create a watercolor painting of some flowers that a colleague had given me at the last lecture event the committee I co-chair held this year. This was my last event as co-chair after 4 1/2 years of service. It was a very sweet gesture and the contrast of the bright red flowers and green foliage was striking.

I decided to create a 4×4 inch central windowed image with extending elements into the border of the 6×6 inch overall format. I brought it up differently than I normally would as a way to experiment with maintaining a lighter and brighter overall value key in the painting (remember the dark horrible mess of flowers in week 6?).

The resulting work does feel more high key than my normal floral attempts so I’m pleased with it and am happy to send it along. It was hard not to use more traditional negative painting techniques in creating this because that’s what I’m most used to. Instead, I simulated this concept with simply painting in the negative spaces between the leaves and then glazed over some of the foliage with light washes of the darker tones to create the illusion that some areas receded more. This was actually quite a bit quicker than usual.

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I had originally planned to add in quite a bit of pen and ink detail but decided I liked it just the way it was and that the touches of white gel pen and dark chromatic grey in the moth were enough.



My students have been submitting some impressive works this week and I’ll be mailing all of them with this one off to the show on Friday. The postmark deadline is Saturday, April 15th, this year so if you should want to participate you can review the rules and print an entry form online.

And I apologize for the delayed post (which was supposed to happen by last Friday) – you know that airport fiasco with Delta cancelling 100’s of flights and passengers stranded all over for days… I was one of those poor souls trying to get home (though I didn’t get dragged off a plane, thankfully)! I was trying to get to and from a conference in Kansas City this past weekend and it was hell. I’m only just now recovering but I’ll get back on track shortly.

Please check out my Instagram @mlevacy – even when I’m not updating my blog about the weekly paintings as regularly as I should I’ve been diligently posting progress shots and finished works on my IG feed each week ahead of time. I’d love to hear from you about your observations or suggestions – I’m always game for good advice and I’m more than happy to answer questions that I haven’t addressed here.

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