Late Afternoon

I’ve been really into doing wet-in-wet watercolors this month, and think it may become a theme for the month of January.  So many areas of watercolor benefit from it.  Skies seem to lend themselves to it, but so do fog and reflections.

Here, a winter landscape, partly from memories of those lovely, cold afternoons in upstate New York or rural Illinois, when the clouds were low and dark, snow was on the ground, but somehow, the sun made it through, casting shadows and a bit of color on the vast swaths of white.

In the Cold, In the North

The end of 2019 is here, the Christmas season is winding down, and 2020 approaches.  I have not done much painting in weeks except for a gouache for my SIL as a present . . . I thought a simple watercolor would be a good place to begin a return to painting.

Interestingly, when I have not painted for awhile, I don’t get caught up in the same issues I do when I paint a lot.  Why is this?  I think it is because I am doing it for the simple pleasure of a watercolor – not to accomplish a goal or something.  Hopefully this element of innocence can be called upon for future works.

Have a wonderful New Year 2020 everyone!

Come Winter

It’s chilly here with rains to begin at midnight.  Snow is on the mountains outside the valleys around me.  I miss the smell of a winter of snow and pine, in the eastern woods, Rockies, high desert.  This is a simple morning sketch, iron gall ink, a water brush, some watercolor to recall the wonder of a mountain winter.

The Red Barn: A Matter of Perspective

Of course, we all want our fans to tell us how talented we are and what perfect paintings we do!  Sadly, that is not reality.  In and of itself, The Red Barn is not a bad painting – I am rather pleased with it.  However, my husband is my nearest critic, and as he knows my issues of late with perspective, he pointed out, “The barn looks warped, like one side is buckling in.”

“Of course!” came my snarky reply.  “It’s old.  See?  There are holes in the barn.”  I pointed out the ones on the right, in shadow, under the eaves.

Well, I knew there was something wrong, but couldn’t pinpoint it.  This morning, I took it out for another look, and just with casual measurement between my fingertips, I found the problem.  The right front edge of the roof is shorter than the left edge.  The same applies to the right and left sides of the front of the barn.  Given the perspective of the painting, it is totally illogical!

This was truly a breakthrough moment.  I thought I had done the perspective correctly – in many ways I have, as with the road, and such, but the building itself was the problem.  I plan to re-do this painting today, working specifically on the barn roof and walls.  Hopefully success will follow!

Stay tooned (as my friend Fraggy likes to say!).

The Last Day of Winter

Or, maybe, The First Day of Spring?

I have been breaking out of my safety zone and moving on to using more expensive paper and larger sized sheets for painting.  Also, another is to use a somewhat limited palette, working to create colors by mixing in different strengths and blends.  Ultramarine and cobalt blues, burnt sienna and burnt umber, a dash of sap green.  Other colors include a mix of cadmium yellow and red, and some of Daniel Smith’s Primatek Sodalite (a black) for the road.

As always, there seems to be a lack of depth in my painting, despite my efforts . . . or maybe the road is not properly proportioned for its curve?

There is nothing like knowing Spring is nearly here, and see hints of emerging from the snow.

Dirty Snow

Well, it is winter, so snow shows up for some reason.  New snow is so nice – but old snow is dreary, especially as winter begins to lose the charm it had at Christmas!  Slushy, mushy, grey, dirty, muddy.

I decided to make up a scene – with buildings both wooden and brick, with telephone poles, and the grey mist of a city beyond.  As a painting by itself, it’s a failure, but adding a few lines helped it out a bit.  People will appear when the weather clears . . .