Blog: Control

Christine Alfery

Posted on December 16 2020

Blog: Control

Featured image: “Catching The Wind  30x40.  Acrylic on Paper

I was reading my newest edition of Watercolor Artists magazine and this question just popped into my head: “Is the appeal of watercolor the simple fact that professional adult watercolorists still color within the lines like they were taught to do as a child?“

I quickly jotted down the thought and began looking for a painting of mine that would fit the thought.  There are many – to my great surprise – where I sort of color within the lines!!!!!!!  I have been thinking lately about control and spontaneity.  I have written about the concept of spontaneity several times. Click below to read.


So, I began to think about the concept of control. Are the stained glass windows that I'm currently working on “controlled” marks?  I think so.  Do I color within the lines?  I think so.  Others I have asked say, "No, they are your lines, your marks, and you definitely don’t color within the lines."  I found many others that  I have created that I believe I've colored within the lines – hummmm – I am thinking about this one.  Can anything help me out here?


Image: Fragment of "In the Beginning" by Christine Alfery


I have been painting these contrasts a great deal lately.  The most recent Gears series is an excellent example, but there are others that were coloring within the lines.  Here I believe I am coloring within the lines. For me, it is all about being governed, controlled, and this coloring within the lines is definitely my inner persona wanted to control my work.  It is like organizing and cleaning my closets when I get frustrated.  Am I frustrated and concerned about control?  I want my old self back, the one that could create a work like “Catching The Wind”  I absolutely love who I was and what I created in that work.

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