As some of you may know I have recently come across the work of an artist called Michael Morgan. He is a great watercolour painter, whose landscape paintings could be mistaken for oil or acrylic paintings such is their boldness. This man is now in his 80’s and obviously has a wealth of experience, but what is amazing is his sheer creativity.
This is a man who is not restricted by techniques and the idea that it is somehow ‘cheating’ if he breaks the ‘rules’ of traditional watercolour painting. Without seeing his work in the flesh it can be difficult to work out some of his methods, but just to give you an example of how he has pushed the boundaries of watercolour, he appears not averse to using a palette knife. It seems on some of his work he lays down an underpainting with a palette knife probably using white gouache and then lays watercolour washes over the top. This gives a really interesting ridged effect which is great for mountains, rocks etc. He is also fond of using resists, probably by applying an oil, to create patterns in his washes.
You will also notice an interesting play with perspective, the houses are painted as though we are looking straight at them as though they are close to our eye level, yet roads / paths are painted as though we are in a plane looking down on the landscape. This multiple view point is not new, but can be effective. The point is that this man experiments and is not restricted by tradition, he is always looking to push the boundaries. Isn’t that what we all should be doing?