Tuesday, April 11


Around this time Betsy said that she was amazed at the mess in my watercolor box -- "I don't know how you can work without knowing that all the tubes are in the correct place. Don't you have to know where the reds, the greens, the blues are?" I said, "Ah, but not knowing is my secret."

I like to be surprised when I pick up a tube. It makes the process more exciting, frees it. When I squeeze, I get this revelation of the color that comes out. It's accidental, but it's an accident that I take advantage of. Sometimes you can express the color of something without using the obvious color. For example, once I grabbed a tube of Chinese white when I was looking for blue. I simply found the blue and used some of the Chinese white, too. The mixture produced a quality that was unbelievable.

This is something you could never tell an art student. And it's something I do only with watercolors. You're in the lap of the gods -- almost like painting with your eyes half-closed. Sometimes I don't want to see too clearly. You build up a kind of color that is purely an interpretation of the truth. Anything to get away from the predictable. This applies to the design of a picture too. Painting is all about breaking the rules. Art is chance. It's like making love.

-- Andrew Wyeth Autobiography