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Thursday, February 28, 2019

"Student Brushes" 15" X 21" watercolor

Student Brushes by April M. Rimpo

Student Brushes
15" X 21" image
21" X 27" brushed silver frame

Recently my family visited to help celebrate my son's graduation from college. While they were here they browsed through some of my paintings and my ever astute brother, commented that it seemed like I had two styles to my work; some are loose and others are very detailed.  Student Brushes falls into the latter category.  I was aware I did this in my work.  I find that after finishing a detailed painting like this one I feel like I need to do something more fluid.  The shift makes me relax and focus more on responding to what is happening with the paint and less about the details.  What you might find interesting, however, is that those "loose" paintings require so much concentration to pay attention to the paint and respond that they can be exhausting.

So what do I do next?  I start a detailed painting which I have well planned and the cycle begins over again.  At the beginning of a painting like Student Brushes I find I get very relaxed, just chipping away to create the image.  I often have to work out how to accomplish the look of something in the painting. For example, the brushes with lots of old dry paint were a bit of a challenge when I started, as was keeping the metal ferrules looking shiny, yet dotted with paint.  Once I have figured out how to render the subject I repeat it until the painting is done. I am nearly always really happy with the final result on these detailed paintings since I have done a lot of planning and design before I touch brush to paper.

I am happy to report that not only I liked this one, but so did the juror of the San Diego Watercolor Society 33rd International Exhibition and more recently Sterling Edwards, the juror for the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society's 35th Anniversary International Juried Show. 

More thrilling is that the painting found someone who loved it and wanted it for their home. As always, thanks to HorseSpirit Arts Gallery for their wonderful caring staff who help find homes for my work and that of 40+ other artists.

It is fascinating to me that I like both approaches to watercolor and that I actually need both to keep me happy.  Do you find you have any interesting quirks in your approach to painting?  I'd love to hear about them.

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Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.


  1. April, I just read your post here...very interesting that you can switch between realistic and loose styles. I always work realistically and think I need to loosen up...should try your approach. Great painting and congratulations again on getting into PWS.

    1. I have been anle to get looser in my work over time. I seldom do a piece this complex anymore, just once ina while. I'm glad you like it.


I look forward to hearing from you. - April

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