Burning Mississippi

During my ongoing recherché about the old steamboats I found out that there have been a lot of accidents with them. Explosions, fires, sinking… some of them did not have a chance to get old. This sketch started as an abstract painting but then it developed into some flames on waving waters. And then, after drying there appeared some spots that reminded me of a steamboat – probably inspired through my reading about them. I love it when something unexpected happens on the paper. For me watercolor is much more about loosing control and let go than gaining control. This is why I love this sketchbook painting so much. It is almost impossible to have control about the wash when you use a lot of water and paints.

089_2017 Watercolor-Sketches
089_2017 Watercolor-Sketches /Daler-Rowney Graduate Sketchbook 21,0 x 29,7 cm / 8.3 x 11.7 in / Lukas Aquarell 1862

If you would like to see really awesome paintings of the old steamboats I recommend the pages of outstanding artist Gary R.Lucy. He paints them in a way of perfection that is really awesome. It was really thrilling to discover his mural journal, following his work during years for a giant mural painting for the Southeast Missouri State University River Campus. Really amzing.


Während meiner andauernden Recherche über die alten Mississippi Dampfer fand ich heraus, dass es damals eine Menge Unfälle mit ihnen gegeben hat. Explosionen, Feuer, Havarien… einige von ihnen hatten gar keine Chance alt zu werden. Diese Skizze begann als abstrakte Pinselei, entwickelte sich dann aber zu einem Flammenmeer auf den Wellen des Wassers. Und dann, als es getrocknet war, entdeckte ich einige Strukturen, die mich an einen Dampfer erinnerten – wahrscheinlich auch, weil ich gerade etwas darüber gelesen hatte. Ich liebe es, wenn etwas unerwartetes auf dem Papier passiert. Für mich bedeutet ein gutes Aquarell viel mehr Kontrolle verlieren und loslassen als zu versuchen, die Kontrolle zu behalten. Deshalb mag ich diese Skizzenbuch Pinseleien so gerne – es ist fast unmöglich hier etwas zu kontrollieren, wenn man viel Wasser und Farbe verwendet.

Wenn Ihr Euch einige wirklich beeindruckende Gemälde der alten Dampfer ansehen möchtet, empfehle ich die Webseite des herausragenden Künstlers Gary R.Lucy. Er malt sie in einer Art von Perfektion, die wirklich atemberaubend ist. Es war spannend, sein mehrere Jahre umfassendes Werktagebuch über die Entstehung eines Wandgemäldes für die Southeast Missouri State University zu verfolgen. Atemberaubend.

101_2017 Watercolor / Hahnemühle Anniversary Edition ca.40 x 30 cm / 15.7 x 11.8 in / Lukas Aquarell 1862

21 thoughts on “Burning Mississippi

  1. Very dramatic pictures — really tour de force paintings. Both of them. These two images complement each other well, two different aspects in the life of the steamships — the tragedy verses endurance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I admire Turner´s art too much to feel comfy with any comparison to his work. He has a great influence on me for sure but he was a master-mind and I will never be. I am more interested in the mood of a scenery I paint and in my own interpretation than in a realistic reproduction of what I see. That might make people remember about Turner sometimes -but my beginner´s work could not stand any direct comparison with his mastery. Anyway – thanks so much, Jonathan! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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