Thursday, October 24, 2013

More Leaves

Sometimes journaling or small works like this are all I have time for.  Working small also helps encourage me to paint again if I'm in a slump.  Just by getting the paints out, then with the drawing I find the urge to put the brush into the paint and then touch the paint to the white paper and then adding water to watch the mystery and dance that is painting with watercolor!  

My favorite season is fall, and it's almost impossible for me not to pick up a few fallen leaves.  Who can resist all that color clinging to baring branches, floating on the breeze and carpeting the path underfoot?  And always impossible not to paint at least a single leaf!  

Here are two approaches to the same leaf.  Because I used a looser technique on the right with splatter, the color became darker and more red.  The actual leaf looks more like the one on the left.  ( I should have included the leaf! ).  Have you ever really looked at the delicate nature of a leaf?  Each is different and by this time of year, few are perfect. (Hmmm, there's a metaphor there!  But I'll spare you today! ) 

Enjoy the day and find some time to really look at a leaf! :) 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Expression with Line

Definition:Line in drawing refers to a type of mark that contains both a direction and a length.  Line is an art element.  There are numerous varieties of possible lines, including curved, bent, thick, wide, broken, vertical, horizontal, burred, or freehand.  Lines are frequently used to delineate shapes, forms and spaces.  The representation of volume, edges, movement and patterns can all be created using line.  Lines can create both 2D and 3D objects and figures. 


I have a fondness for line.  One of my favorite teachers taught me the sensitivity that can be shown with simple line.  A soft or light line seems delicate while a hard or dark line may feel more solid or sturdy.  You pick the adjective, but you get my meaning.

I use line to draw my subjects when I paint in watercolor.  I find myself conflicted when I've drawn something I like with line but I know that the drawing itself will be lost when it's painted.  The subtleties expressed with a simple line are so beautiful to me!  

This is a little watercolor sketch I did today.  Inspired by the beauty of the brilliant colors this fall, I brought leaves home from my walk.  I tossed the leaves on my white table.  They were bathed in sunlight while I sat and sketched the contour of a brilliant red-orange maple leaf.  I went ahead and painted the drawing, but I felt I had to photograph the line drawing before I did!  


Drawing and line are definitely a big part of what I love about watercolor.  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


I apologize for not putting much of my art up lately, but you have to make art to show it and that's the problem.  I've been, shall we say, distracted and not painting.  This too shall pass.  I've noticed that periods of dormancy are followed by periods of great productivity and creativity.

In the past, I would try to force the creative process or coax a painting or two from the dry well of my creative self.  I would put into place an appointed time to paint each day believing that the practice would elicit the return of the creative impulse.  Sometimes this worked.  Most times it only produced technical paintings without spirit.  The idea being that if I faked it long enough the spirit would return with the practice.  But here is what I've found later in life and in this cycle of my life.  That "pushing through" the dry spells with work that was uninspired was wasted energy.

What I've understood lately is that periods of dormancy are as much a part of my creative experience as winter is to the perennial flower.  Instead of fighting the seemingly harsh weather of a creative winter, why not enjoy the beauty of the stillness and clarity the winter season brings.  A time to reflect, see the creative landscape unclothed and naked. Listen to the silence. To appreciate more fully the spring of renewal that awaits beneath the cold and seemingly dead surface. Are periods of dormancy any less important to the cycle of creativity?  I now know they are every bit as important for renewal.  But for years I have feared them and fought the inevitable.  Read the books and practiced the "cure".  In the end, its a cycle.  I can fight it or settle into it and learn to weather the season!

Thanks for waiting and reading!