Winter Aspens

I am really rather pleased with this gouache – haven’t done any since last year!  When I am painting in gouache, each one begins okay, with clear ideas in my head.  And then it gets really and truly hideous.  And then, it changes, almost by itself, and comes together in a way that watercolor doesn’t.  I don’t know how to describe it, but the process is quite magical – just like snowy woods in the late afternoon.

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!

Somewhere in Monterey

Today is a watercolor day!

I am surprised by how much less I am worrying about how my painting is going to look and how much I am becoming more involved with its process.

Working with gouache has certainly helped me with my usage of light and dark.  For awhile I wondered if working with gouache, from dark to light, would mess with my mind with watercolor, which is light to dark.  Actually, it helped a lot as I am more aware of light and dark than before, and thus it is easier to think about how to make it happen.

This is from a photo I took in Pt. Lobos Nature Reserve, along a path.  The light was dappled and flickering as the tree branches and leaves moved with the shifting wind.  It was a warm day, pleasant, and very, very much a prize of a day altogether.  I think this painting does a fair job catching it, though, as always, there are areas for improvement.

WWM #19: Splashes of Color

I’ve been thinking about how I am developing a sort of painting style in gouache, as well as giving thought to the painters whose work I admire.  It definitely falls in the impressionistic and expressionistic varieties.  Gouache just seems to be made for exuberant color and enthusiastic brushwork.My colors are more subdued that I wanted – I wanted turquoise skies and pink flowers and a brilliant sunset.  Instead, I have a rather northern European type of town scene, with a garden or flowering park in the middle.  Summer’s abundance flourishes under the trees, but in the shade it seems.  In doing this painting, I didn’t do much planning.  I stuck to the prompt of “splashes of color” – and splash I did.  The result was a serious loosening up of my style, and a letting go of “this is what I want it to be.”  That is significant – I can be a real tight ass about painting, and in the end dislike the results.  When I let go – let things splash – I am usually much, much happier with the results.

Regardless, both paintings appear muddy to me.  I wonder if working with pure color – straight from the tube – would help.  Practice certainly will.  The flowers in the vase seem a bit overworked, too.  Again, practice and experience.

So, lots of splashes of color for #WorldWatercolorMonth 2019 is producing some rather pleasing results and, more than anything, a daily involvement with painting.