Nightmares on the Patio!

We all have those days – everything you think you are going to accomplish turns to some sort of monster or horror or nightmare as you do it.  I sure had different ideas for what I was going to do out on my patio this afternoon.  Ugh!  Ugh! to the point I have to laugh.  I really don’t know what to do with either of these except to chalk them up to experience.

This first one (above) is supposed to be some really brilliant orange geraniums on my patio table.  I don’t think so.  I get so – what?  Impatient may not be the right word.  What I feel is a need to work quickly, and perhaps therein lies the problem.  I drew them in with a pencil and set up all my paints and water and other supplies on a table outdoors.  In 85F or more weather, it was  hot.  But the heat is not the driving force for haste – it happens to me all the time, particularly with watercolor.  It’s something to really think about.

After shuddering at that first painting, I decided to just paint – no lines, nothing, just move along.  Sometimes in watercolor it has proven to be a great exercise.  Here, not so sure.  These are tabasco chilis that are ripening, and will soon be picked and dried, to later be ground into chili powder (we make our own every year, with different peppers.)  Like the first painting, everything went head over heels, and in the end, I just decided to make it more decorative than painterly.

I can always tell when I haven’t picked up a pen or brush for even a couple of days.  I felt all clumsy and disconnected.  Maybe being outside – something I have never done with gouache – added to it.  I really tried to paint from real life, plein aire, and I am not so sure that was for the best.

Oh, well.  I had fun.  Maybe there is something in that.

 

 

An Afternoon on the Patio

We headed out to San Diego for the last several days, to see the zoo, to walk around, to explore a bit of the city, and to just get out of town.  It was really nice, but no painting or drawing got done!  Lots of photography and fine dining and hiking all over.  It was a very welcome break from the daily routines.

Now, back in town, everything is caught up and time to play!  I moved out to the side patio where we have peppers, flowers, herbs, and sundry plants for our pleasure.  We have a few resident lizards, too; they dart around and sometimes we find them in the house.  When we do, they are gently moved outside.  They are a lot of fun to watch as they do push-ups in the sun.  And that is what we begin with below – a 5 minute ink and watercolor sketch of milkweed and a lizard that flitted in and out of the picture.  Rather a stiff picture – amazing what you lose when you don’t paint or draw every day.

From here, I looked toward the fence facing the front of the house.  Here we have a jasmine, bulbs, and mint.  Behind them are the blue tomato cages, sometimes used to support tomatoes, and sometimes peppers or vines.  Another ink and watercolor sketch; this time, 10 minutes allotted.

Finally, just watercolor.  Lavender is a lovely plant, and this one is making me so happy.  I believe it is English lavender, as opposed to French, as it is shorter and more compact.  I could be wrong.  I could look it up on the internet.  But I don’t feel like it!  Okay, I did.  I have no idea what kind of lavender it is!  There are so many kinds . . .

As an aside, I bought some Holbein water-based gouache when we were in San Diego.  There was a Real Art Store a few blocks from the B&B we stayed at.  And a bookstore.  And a lot of good restaurants.  So, expect some adventures into gouache in the future.  Meanwhile, it felt good to pick up a pen and colors to just diddle around on a sunny afternoon, enjoying retirement.