It was nice to finally get back to this piece. I started Reverse a while ago with the initial outline and one color, but never continued working on it. Life got in the way, but part of the hesitation was my exploration into using someone else that isn’t me as an emotional subject. I do feel more comfortable using my husband (Bryan) because we have been with each other for 13 years. I know Bryan better than he knows himself, I understand him better than anyone, I also know what he is comfortable with. Ergo, I am more comfortable using him as an emotional subject because of the connection I have with him.

Many times when I start work on a piece, I either have it planned (extremely rare), there are pictures I took that I think are awesome conceptually, or I have no clue what im going to do. Reverse is a horribly fun combination of, I have pictures and I dont know what Im going to do. When I say horribly fun, I mean I am struggling but having fun at the same time. My goal with my work is not to get too overwhelmed but at the same time have a challenge. If a piece doesn’t hit that criteria, I will most likely not touch it ever again. Reverse is right in that sweet spot of “WTF am I doing,” and “la la la! I like Watercolor! Do do do!”

Yes…exactly like that, with that exact song.

When thinking of what I plan for this piece, the answer is nothing…I don’t really plan my work. Only two of the works in my portfolio were planned. I just go with the flow and see what happens. The emotions will come out while in the process. Obviously, I can have goals, I originally wanted to push myself to a maximalist approach in terms of how many layers can I put on one watercolor surface. The reasons for this? To break from two mindsets. I have a goal to stop worrying about a “good image,” and to force myself not to care about my strokes because my brain knows what to do. I have found through my practice that when I try, it turns out terrible versus when I work quick and not give the work a second thought. Now this original goal is being reevaluated for Reverse, this happens with all my work at this stage. I am enjoying how Reverse is looking to far. The next layer was going to be off set to the right in desaturated blue hues, then I was going to start line work with the Ink pencils. However, that little “perfectionist Mina,” voice comes in and questions if I will push the piece too far. It looks so nice, why don’t I stop? Do I have to try to maximize this one? Are the two overlapping faces just enough?

What I plan to do for the next two weeks is to let this one sit. I am just going to play with the idea of pushing the layers before making the decision final. I might even make copies of this image and paint over the copies with ideas I have, to investigate if I even want to continue painting on Reverse.

I hate the finality of the marks sometimes, it stresses me out.

On the other hand, Bryan was excited when I continued work on this piece. He enjoyed Bruise and kept asking when I would do another painting with him next. His excitement made me feel more comfortable using him in my work. I will absolutely continue using Bryan as a model in my work. I asked for his opinion on Reverse. Bryan is stuck with the two ideas as well, which makes me think I should probably let Reverse sit and experiment more with the concept. He is a great support in terms of evaluating my work and giving critical feedback.