170. Redbuds in Bloom

Outside my studio window is a small California Redbud.  It really needs more sunshine to show off its flowers – there is too much shade on the western side of my house, and so it does not bloom very often or very much.  Still, it is a lovely tree.  Slender branches, heart-shaped leaves that change color and drop in the autumn.  Local birds like to hang out in its branches.

Today, I tried to express the beauty of several redbuds in bloom, with spring growth abounding in new leaves.  I drew the trees first, then used frisket – a lot of it – in the forms of lines and dots.  From there, the background was laid in, using varying colors to represent leaves, flowers, and other trees or branches.  The frisket was then removed, and trunks painted using warm and cool greys.  Afterward, magentas and yellow greens, warm and cool.  It was all rather splattery!  Finally, after everything dried, white dots applied to suggest spring insects and twinkling sunlight.

Not entirely pleased.  As a realistic painting, it fails; however, as an abstract, it has potential.

75. Redbud in the Morning, and I’ve Been Thinking

Today, Marc Taro Homes announced a 30-day direct painting challenge, and started a Facebook group dedicated to it.  I’ve also been reviewing the work of an artist I admire, and who paints everything, from weird objects to seascapes to people.  It made me think about watercolor painting in general.  It becomes something of a sacred cow – so sacred you never experience it!  So, just do it and do it and do it.  Morning sketches are helpful, and so will the days of direct painting.

Outside my studio window is a small redbud tree.  The leaves are heart-shaped and vary in color from pale green-yellow to a rusty red, depending on the way the light hits.  This is my homage to starting direct watercoloring.  I didn’t catch the transparency of the leaves this morning, but I did paint.  Maybe I will paint it again tomorrow morning.