To live and enjoy every day to its fullest, use my gifts to help others, I travel to wherever passion finds me.

What Will She Paint?

So many friends I met here...!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


With mountains reaching to 9000 feet, there is bound to be water somewhere.
Water abounds in Yosemite National Park. Streams, waterfalls, a paradise for hikers, fishermen, and painters. Hubby and kids ( before they were on their own) did the hiking, while I mostly parked after half an hour to paint.

Sorry, I was not able to find the pic of the scene that I am posting for the Scribble and Doodle Window. I am apparently not organized enough with my non-digital pics, LOL!
What I did find, was this pic in one of my albums.

I don't know who had this idea that plein are painting was boring???

This is what we saw when we came to the painting site. This brown bear liked to do painting too! He was anesthetized, and lifted up with a crane.
Then they transported him in a metal cylinder, and let him out in the woods.
That same week, someone was whisked away, on a stretcher hanging below the helicopter.
With all this hoopla I don't know if I can even concentrate on which colors to use!

9 x 12, Watercolor, St.Germain
As you see, this watercolor is very close in approach to the one I posted last week.

For watercolors I mostly use 140 lb. cold pressed Arches watercolor paper. If I make a mistake, this paper can take a scrub of a brush with filbert hair.
For the background and the water in this painting I worked wet-in wet. This means that I wet the paper with a sponge or a plant mister, then I immediately paint with diluted paint on the wet paper.
To blur the edges in the background, I may use paper towel to soak up some of the paint,
or go over the edges with a clean wet paint brush. As you can see, I kept things minimal on details.

Do you see that large scar on the tree trunk?
That reminds me to say something about my job. Part of a psychologist's job is to evaluate people's abilities or aptitude, disabilities in learning, or abnormal behavior. They may give a battery of tests, including drawings that they interpret. However, most of them do not have a basic knowledge of drawing.

There is no standardization on a random sample of people of certain details, such as a cut-off branch in a tree trunk. Or the scar that a cutoff branch leaves in a tree trunk.Crosshatching, for example is a technique, much used in pastel paintings. Yet I have known professionals making an interpretation about the crosshatching!

So, they don't have any foundation for their interpretation of drawings, other than their own notions. Nor do psychologists know enough about the creative mind (still a vast open field for researchers) to make an interpretation.

In case they refer to "many case studies", be well advised that a case study is a case of one individual. Only with a random sample one can rule out skewed findings, due to individual idiosyncrasies, as well as characteristics all these case studies might have in common!

So, if you know or discover a psychologist or psychiatrist who is into this (meaning someone with a doc degree; an MFT has a Masters Degree, and should even less fiddle with this), I hope you print out this little blurb for them to read.

In my opinion, a psychologist needs to be an artist as well, to make any interpretation about people's drawings until standardized tests appear on the horizon. In any case, drawings should be used as a confirmation or illustration, not as a piece of evidence to make one's case for a certain diagnosis in a test report.

Back to the painting. I find it so much more fun to paint, than to make interpretations, LOL.


DUTA said...

I do believe you that it's "more fun to paint than to make inerpretations". The same applies to reading.
Sometimes interpretations of the contents spoil the whole interest one takes in reading a book and the fun that goes with it.

Gaston Studio said...

wow, you had me going with all that psychobabble - LOL!

glad to know the bear was only anesthesized and not dead.

Great painting; love your colors.

jeannette stgermain said...

Yes, it puts me in a dilemma sometimes, because people always seem to ask me "Why?" So, then I almost feel obligated to explain and interpret:)
Your comments always bring up an interesting perspective!

jeannette stgermain said...

I'm glad I have some influence LOL (referring to the psycho babble)
Already as a teen I read the Jung, Freud, and philosophical perspectives (the word "nerd" had not been coined yet:) )
Thanks for your visit Jane, I'm behind because I'm packing, but I still need to read the last part of your mystery.

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

psycho babble or not, all of this is pretty interesting!

Poetikat said...

Lovely painting - the colours are beautiful. Good thing they got the bear out of your way.


Whitemist said...

In my "other" field, working with mentally disabled, often I have found them to be brilliant artists and any interpretation of their work might be on the order of how much do you want for it. I guess, the right side of the brain rules such creations and we really know so little...
I enjoy your interpretations in your art.

jeannette stgermain said...

Gary, Thanks!
I"m know among my colleques for my strong opinion,so when it irks me when professionals go beyond their boundaries of what really has been researched with appropriate samples, I'll go on my soapbox, LOL (MD's are even worse than psychologists!)

jeannette stgermain said...

Hope you're doing better with you're memory - it IS scary sometimes!
Glad you like the painting! About the bear, it was eventful, to say the least :), but I'm one who doesn't do well with distractions while I'm painting, LOL.

jeannette stgermain said...

How many "hats" do you actually wear? It never ceases to amaze me that you're knowledgeable in so many different fields.
It it a sad thing that "mentally disabled" has such a stigma, that we don't see them artists (period!!). You are right, some of their works are brilliant, so why are we calling them "disabled"?
Glad you like the interpretations of my own art.

crochet lady said...

When I think of evaluating people on what they see in a drawing or a work of art, that just doesn't ring true.

I think you could have ten different people view the same painting or drawing and possibly get ten different interpretations. How can aptitude be tested on something so varient?


Whitemist said...

Actually, some of what I consider my best works have been roundly condemned by professional "Artists" and the one psychologist I visited some time ago to help me through some rough spots thought they were brilliant, tho very lonely (she was correct at the time).
No, I am not considered mentally impaired, but do host 2 in my home and they some times help me keep my sanity.
As for the hats I wear, I have been told that I can wear as many as I want, I seem to have that capacity.
Just remember, I am working as an analytical chemist with very fine and detailed work (part time at this time)with significantly impaired vision and stamina. Anyway that is me and who I am Jeanette.

Dina said...

This is so interesting (not just the bear part)!
It would be great if every professional, no matter what kind, could also be an artist.
My daughter is a mechanical engineer with a doctorate in biomedical engineering. But you know what? Give her some free time (rare) and she will be painting, making jewelry, or playing violin. An artist inside.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You know Jeannette, I have often wondered how I would be analyzed? I think a psychologist would give up on trying after a while, I am much too complicated. LOL!!!

It is interesting to hear the different techniques you use in painting. Have never even watched someone doing it and I am sure it would be much too involved for my small brain to absorb. 

Anonymous said...

I really like your blog it’s excellent…

jeannette stgermain said...

With people (also professionals) who do not know much about art, yes, you would get many different interpretations. But when you have a bunch of artists, their interpretations sound a lot more alike (probably because they are mostly right brained people)- thanks for your view on this.

jeannette stgermain said...

hope I didn't come over as if artists have all the wisdom - arrogance and insensitivity occurs across any profession or SES. sounds like that one psychologist was a good fit. Glad that you have a good relationship with your house mates:)
I knew that your job title is an analytical chemist. But some people tell first about one part of themselves, and later about another part, etc., so I wondered if I saw the whole picture:)

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you! Wow, your daughter has such a wide spread of talents!
But which talents we have also depends on the genes we have inherited from our mother's and father's side. And also what is developed in childhood - a fascinating subject!!

jeannette stgermain said...

We often have a blind spot when it is about analyzing our own behavior. that's why it was a requirement in my training to go into didactic therapy, to learn about ourselves.
The clients that a psychologist tends to give up on are the ones who refuse to change, or who are so needy that they need 24 hour care. You're not either one of them LOL

Since you are used to watching wildlife, I am sure that after watching an artist a few times you'll catch on to the "visual language" by learning the ABC's!

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you for visiting! Glad you like this blog. I went to yours. Am curious about you, what kind of life you lead, what interests you have.
I know several architects - they are very artistically inclined. (of course they need to know how to draft, which is related to drawing).
Sometimes I wish I were one, then I could design my dream house (but I don't have the funds for what I want LOL)

Sreddy Yen said...

Wow...I love this watercolour~! I've tried it once before and said I'm never trying it again. It is just too difficult to accomplish!

Your post on dreams was most interesting...I look forward to the next one. Do you perhaps know why people stop dreaming? I used to dream quite a lot but now lately I've had none.

Thank you for visiting my blog :O)


The Weaver of Grass said...

Lovely painting Jeannette.
That bear story is really scary - it must be quite scary to live in a country where there are bears - the most scary thing we could meet here would be a fox and he would be the one to be scared.

The Gossamer Woman said...

I remember when I was in 6th grade and we had to make a drawing of a tree and that was one of the things used to interpret our aptitude for which school we would go to. I drew an oak tree. Maybe I should have drawn a more exotic palm tree. I still don't know how it influenced the outcome.

The Muse said...

Talented lady!

I agree that breaking down one's not at all the gratifying part...

I want readers to linger, to question, to feel what comes to them...

Great post!

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you! And you're funny about the fox:)
Parts of the US are very hi-tech, and other areas are still wild -which they try to preserve. It is only scary when the wild animals such as bears, mountain lions, hyena's meander into residential areas, because of little kids and pets.

jeannette stgermain said...

Sorry, I went out of sequence with my responses! People think they stop dreaming, but they actually don't. Remember that you have stages -one of them being REM sleep? When you have dreams outside the REM stages, they are harder to retrieve.
Also, when you wake up you might remember bits and pieces, but in about 3 min. after waking up, you don't remember that anymore either.

People can discipline themselves in remembering by writing down the whole dream, as soon as they awake (not after 5 min.!) Once you start doing that, your mind becomes more focused on remembering them.

Watercolor is harder than most of the other mediums. Because I kept doing it year after year on my vacations, I do decent ones, and of course you know those happy accidents that jump out at everyone! Thank you too for your visit:)

jeannette stgermain said...

Yes, that makes me mad (now I know a lot more about art and the unconscious). Don't get me back on my soap box LOL
I remember those aptitude tests, and they didn't know what to do with me, because I got tested over and over and over again!!
Anyway, Irene, you know who you are! You are smart, witty, and extremely artistic.

jeannette stgermain said...

I went to your dotcom - nice!! I can return the compliment, I love your poems (especially the one from May 24 -and I left a comment).
My Wordpress profile pic came up - is your website via them?

Anyway, my own art website is www(dot)stgermainart(dot)com. When you visit, please make your comment on this post at Blogger, as the outlook express widget does not work right now.

Lynette said...

Ahh the poor bear, he looks like he is really knocked out. I'm glad they could free him safely out in the woods. Jeannette, I love your watercolor landscape with those soft colors, it has an magical and ethereal feeling to me, I love it!

jeannette stgermain said...

You can't see it on the pic, but this bear is pretty big. And the metal cylinder where they transported him in was lifted with a crane, that's how big it was (and how heavy the bear was). So I was glad I didn't meet this one in person while conscious LOL.
Thank you so much, I'm glad you like the watercolor - almost looks like it's done with an opaque medium, isn't it?