Wednesday, August 30, 2017

watercolors-post eclipse

                                                              Mountain Purple wc 8x6

                                                                   Mountain Red wc 8x8

 These two mountain doodles may be the best work I`ve done lately. These came from a need for pure color and a subject that wasn`t trees. Neither took long and they satisfied my desires. I sometimes paint something other than my immediate surroundings because I need to see it.

                                                    Runoff watercolor and oil on Yupo 20x26

 I had been working on this for a week. It looked promising, then lost and eventually I sprayed the watercolor with a varnish and started in again with oils. I`ve done this before and it`s a viable process. Since the support is plastic and there is an acrylic barrier applied between the two mediums, I think it will be stable for millennia. Although Yupo is new, I`ve worked with it for twelve years without any changes at all in the pieces I have kept. My sense is that it`s sturdy and permanent.
But the painting above may lack the animating piece of the puzzle, I don`t know yet.
So I painted a couple of mountains in the interim.

                                                      Stream and Sunlight acrylic on paper 24x18

 And this too is new. When I began I actually thought I could do it in pure watercolor. Let the white paper reflect through and illuminate the vegetation. Somehow I would just intuit where the lightest values would be placed. So I began with no guiding marks whatsoever and was soon scrambling for the acrylic white for corrections. The greens in the upper left are exactly why I don`t particularly like acrylics. I had to add white to the green to achieve the right value and now the paint looks chalky and opaque. The rocks in the back were glazed repeatedly trying to give them some of the luminance of watercolor.

                                                                   by Rebecca de Figueiredo

I was about to go to bed but was still looking at art on Pinterest the other day when I stumbled on the work of Rebecca de Figueiredo. The color slapped me in the face. She paints complex botanicals and somewhat narrative abstract landscapes that are derived from the countryside where she lives in Botswana. All of her work pulsates with vitality and high spirits. She is also remarkably affordable.
Here`s a couple more;

                                                                   by Rebecca di Figueiredo

                                                                   by Rebecca di Figueiredo

 Finally some good news; Iceland has banned televangelists from their airways!
Now I`m a big fan of our first constitutional amendment allowing freedom of speech, but if other countries have conditions, so be it. My grandmother used to watch those vultures for hours and gave when she could. Such predators! Exploiting the vulnerable for cash. Not in Iceland anymore!

 I could have known with just a bit of research.
Early in the morning of the full eclipse of the sun, I received an email from France marked URGENT. A reader of this blog wrote emphatically that there was a world of difference between 99 and a 100% totality. He implored me to get into the full eclipse zone. That this stranger was urging me to do something I had already dismissed had a sickening ring of truth to it.
John was at a doctor`s appointment, we had no eclipse glasses and my traffic app showed the highways thoroughly clogged with cars. I was stuck.
The Oregon Department of Transportation had easily convinced me to stay home. Disliking crowds and traffic, I had decided to accept 99% of the spectacle and realized too late this was a huge mistake! At the peak, my house looked like this;

 Interesting sure, but not the once in a lifetime experience happening a mere 20 miles south. Soon I started hearing from friends and family that had made the effort to see the totality. They all said it was unlike anything they had ever witnessed, it had been marvelous. Then I saw the videos and when John`s Mom told us she could see the stars from her home near Salem, I knew I had made one of the biggest blunders of my life. One million visitors to Oregon that morning could not be wrong.
I`m still upset with myself.

 Life goes on.
I delivered my show to the White Bird Gallery in Cannon Beach yesterday with a sense of success. Getting it painted and then exhibition ready was a real challenge as I still can`t stand for too long.
Here is an article about it.


available work mostly in my studio


Betsy C said...

stunning watercolors. and the oil on watercolor one is really neat!

Libby Fife said...


What very imaginative work from Rebecca di Figueiredo!

Number 2 is my favorite and of course I like the creek pieces. You always manage to create a space that I find convincing and inviting, acrylics or not. I do know what you mean though. The white paint is a soul killer. You end up relying on (and futzing with) contrast and temperature rather than simply being able to lighten something. It's frustrating. At least it is for me.

I had my mammogram appointment during the eclipse. I just experienced the weird light while driving home. I enjoyed everyone's pictures though and know what you mean about the sense of a colossal mistake at having missed something.

Yippee for Iceland!

E.M. Corsa said...

Two things to say:

Your house is exactly the kind of home I love!

AND, you are way too hard on yourself! Your work is wonderful.

Actually, three things to say; by regretting what you didn't do, (the eclipse) it keeps you in the past. Move forward my friend because you have the power to alter the future.

RH Carpenter said...

There will be other eclipses - maybe even total ones in our lifetimes (so start planning now! ha ha). The top two paintings are so right and bright with glorious color, I want to lick the screen and see what tastes they have :) I am obsessed with Shirley Trevena work right now so color is what it's all about. We did not have totality but had some beautiful shadow shapes all around - all shaped like a sickle and, when the wind picked up, moving like dark water rolling around. There was something to see, no matter where you were. Love your house and front porch :)