Because I`m surrounded by unfinished oil paintings intended for a show of oils opening in March, all I want to do is play with watercolor. It`s discouraging being human.
I had a marvelous walk around Cook`s Butte the other morning in the fog. I can`t explain why it is so exciting to me but it really is. Everything looks better in the mist! I went down into the studio, looked at the unresolved, uncooperative canvases then over to some paper I haven`t had a minute to try. I found the time. I know from years of hiking that coming in from a rich experience in nature can turn to gold if I can just start painting. I used to think this was just ordinary inspiration but now I think it`s more complex, 'emotional' memory is involved. It can guide the painting without any reference. First I did the study below. The paper was simply called Multi media/Aquarelle. 100% cotton, heavy sizing, 140 lb. cold pressed and inexpensive! [New York Central Art Supply]
I felt so confident, I thought I`d document it;
And these were my tools;
Nothing too unusual. A natural sponge for pre-wetting and later lifting. Lots of Kleenex for blotting, Q-tips for drawing through wet paint making a soft fat line, a silicone spatula for drawing with a sharper line, a piece of mat board with a bevel edge for scraping like with a squeegee, cheap house painter brush for blending and then the watercolor brushes. Note those at the top have extra long soft bristles. I`ve come to prefer this type because you can really load them up yet they`ll also come to an edge or point. I`m using a bristle filbert that is extra long for oil painting too. Then there is the angle brush up above. I love these because the double as a wash brush but also can be used for line.
On bigger paintings I`ll use a much larger assortment. Often I`ll stop in my process and look over the choices to choose the best one for the task at hand. I feel like a surgeon sometimes!
I did this one today before returning to my 'real' project;
watercolor on paper 8x8
Studio envy. We all have it, it`s rude but no one has the perfect work space they so deserve. Even though mine is huge compared to the gross carpeted bedroom I used before moving here, I thought big windows would have been nice. Then I got a National Geographic quality view at Sitka when I was a resident last year. I was constantly fooling with the blinds, moving my work out of the sunlight and coping with the glare. I`d do it again in a heartbeat but I returned to my basement very grateful for the controlled full spectrum lighting I had installed. Now it`s running water I yearn for. Here`s a great feature from Hyperallergic on reader submitted art studios. There are lots of them, look for the links.
Finally. my newest Pinterest discovery, Leslie Kenneth Price of Arcata Calif. Although he`s an abstract painter, his immersion in the landscape is obvious. I`d love to go on a hike with him. Isn`t this stunning? So lyrical!
Leslie Kenneth Price
watercolor demonstration in my studio Sat. Feb. 14, 10 am
another demo March 26, 11 am at Museum 510 in Lake Oswego