I've been painting planets for the past few months. You might have noticed them strung up on my wall in this post, but maybe not.
The first planet I painted was a bit of an accident—I had the intention of simply painting a circle, with watercolors, but when I observed the final product, I realized it was a planet.
It was a fun and low pressure way to play with watercolors, so I decided I would do more of them. In fact, I would paint a hundred of them. I'm on #35 presently. I'd like to document them all eventually, but figured it'll take me time and energy to do that, so we'll see what a slow roll of that feels like.
Often I start with a wet circle and load pigments on my brush to watch them bleed together organically as it dries. Sometimes I experiment with metallics, or salt. They don't all turn out well.
I had some friends over and we all painted planets together. It was a very accessible way to make art together and share an experience—it's not a very high barrier for entry, and the magic is in the exploration.
I was having dinner with my friend Heather the other night. She is a fairly well-known abstract painter, and she asked me how I felt about other people sort of... doing my thing. I understand why she would feel protective about people copying artists, but I think there's a fundamental difference between what she does and what I'm doing. Hers is fine art—her life's work and exploration has gotten her to the work that she produces, and I deeply respect that. I don't think that someone can sit down and make her art on a lazy Tuesday evening. Whereas I'm happy to share my little planet exercise with whoever wants to play with me.