Residency is a two-part journal entry brought to you by one of our favorite creatives.
This week, the NY-based artist Emily Yacina shows us her watercolors.
When I was younger, I used to draw and paint a lot. My sister is an artist, and in high school she always had materials around that I would borrow. I was never too serious about it—I felt more comfortable recording songs. This fall, I was away from home for the first time. I can’t record consistently when I’m in school because it’s hard to find the space, so I figured I could channel some of that energy into painting, which seemed more mobile.
I started painting in my free time, and I would get frustrated trying to paint realistic things like faces or flowers so I gravitated toward painting just patches of color. There’s something really charming about focusing on one color, and then watching it bleed into something else. After the paint dries, I outline each shape so I can document the movement that happened on the page. When they’re finished, they look like little maps or bacteria under a microscope.
I start out with one patch in the middle of the page. I’m attracted to blues and purples and reds. I like the way those colors look in puddles.
Then, I like to drip a contrasting color into the patch and watch the way it moves and swirls inside of the puddle.
I add more and more patches. I like to play around with different color combinations. I’ll outline a shape and watch the color seep into the edges.
I fill the whole page with different colors. I add layers of light and dark until it’s crammed. I only took one art class years ago, so I’m not really sure what I’m doing in terms of using watercolors correctly.
After the colors dry, I use a black marker to outline each shape I see. This part feels very mechanical.
When it’s finished, it either stays in my sketchbook forever or I give it to someone. I’ve made a ton this year, probably because I haven’t been able to record as easily. When I do record, my favorite part is layering the different sounds. When I paint, I like to layer different colors and shapes. It feels good to see tiny parts make up a whole.