Greg Mason Burns

Behind the Painting: Iglesia en La Serena

Chile, Watercolor, Painting, La Serena, Study, Painting, Art, Progress

Iglesia en La Serena – Watercolor on Paper (2014)

I started working with watercolors a few weeks ago, and today I finished my 11th painting, of which only two are worth presenting. The learning curve has proven to be steep but not tiresome. This painting is the 11th attempt and one of the two that I believe is worthy of satisfaction. It is called Iglesia en La Serena and it’s based on a photo I took while visiting La Serena, Chile a few years ago. I took this photo knowing that I would someday paint it. This was when I was a full time writer and yet to begin painting full time. I guess I knew more then than I thought I did. 

I want to note the process, however. An artist, like anyone, must practice and work every single day, and he or she must do so without seeing results. I know that sounds crazy but it’s absolutely true. One must produce until the results come. There is no amount of planning of a painting that will allow it to magically appear. The painting must be developed through hours and hours of practice. This does not mean that a specific painting can’t be painted in a short session of an hour. Of course it’s possible; but that painting can’t occur without the artist having developed over time, unless the artist gets lucky.

I say this because this particular painting came in one sitting. It was the first of my watercolors that I was satisfied with after the first attempt. All the others took at least two, with one taking three attempts and I’m still not happy with its development. I painted that “failure” over and over again seeing no progress. For a new medium this can be frustrating, but I continued knowing that no progress would mean substantial progress all at once at some point. A week’s worth of frustration was finally rewarded, and I have my example of work with no results everyday yields results on the final day, before a new process begins. Am I satisfied overall? I have a long way to go, but thus far I am enjoying this new medium.



Colonia, del, sacremento, sacramento, watercolor, art, art process

Colonia del Sacramento – Watercolor on Paper (2014) – The first of the “good” paintings


Watercolor, Painting, Study, La Serena, Chile, Lighthouse, Faro

Lighthouse at La Serena – Watercolor on Paper (2014)