There was a crooked man There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile, He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile; He bought a crooked cat which caught a crooked mouse, And they all lived together in a little crooked house. — Mother Goose
There is this wonky crooked house in Windsor, England which I adore. I’ve been looking at pictures of this house for a while now, and today what better day to draw and paint this in? The weather is a balmy -13C, compared to the -30C that we have had in the past few days, and seeing the birds sauntering around today, why not paint?
For the past few months I have been painting without any lines whatsoever which is called direct watercolors, and even though I love painting this way, it felt so good to have a pen in my hand and draawwwiiiinnnnnggggggg! I missed it so much. I think that I’ll be going on a drawing spree. This girl does not do shopping sprees, she does drawing sprees — hah-hah!
Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook 4″ x 6″ Watercolours: Hansa Medium, Yellow Ochre, Q. Rose, Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Blue
Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. — George Bernard Shaw
Here is my second Nocturne and I find it quite light… hah-hah! Even if you have the best of intentions, sometimes it just doesn’t work as you had planned. What do I like? The sky and the glow of the buildings on top of the tunnel. I like the tunnel too. What I don’t like? The buildings leading to the tunnel and their insignificance. However, I wanted to put the emphasis on the tunnel and the buildings above… but they did not turn out as I wished. The joys of painting, sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t. If I have the time, I will repaint this scene, as I believe that I could turn it into a lovely painting… “if” I put in the time.
Paper: Arches CP 9″ x 6″ Watercolours: Hansa Med, Yellow Ochre, Q. Rose, Cobalt Blue Location: Prague photograph
O my Luve’s like a red, red rose, That’s newly sprung in June: O my Luve’s like the melodie, That’s sweetly play’d in tune. As fair art thou, my bonie lass, So deep in luve am I; And I will luve thee still, my dear, Till a’ the seas gang dry. Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear, And the rocks melt wi’ the sun; And I will luve thee still, my dear, While the sands o’ life shall run. And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve! And fare-thee-weel, a while! And I will come again, my Luve, Tho’ ‘twere ten thousand mile! A Red, Red Rose — Robert Burns.
Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns sits proudly atop the pantheon of Scottish poets. From ‘Auld Lang Syne’ to ‘Address to a Haggis’, his work is intrinsically linked with Scottish culture. His journey from humble rural beginnings to international renown tells the story of a man inspired by nature, class culture and love. It was his birthday today in 1759.
This painting does not look like much but it’s the technique that is so bloody interesting. Totally wet-on-wet, so this means that you need a high level of water control, which is excellent for practice purposes. It forces you to look at your paper and see if it has absorbed enough water or not, if it’s time for you to charge back in or wait a bit… it is kind of a dance with water, watercolours, and paper.
Paper: Arches CP 9″ x 6″ Watercolours: Hansa Med., Q. Gold, Alizarin Crimson, Payne’s Grey
All along the lee shore Shells lie scattered in the sand Winking up like shining eyes at me From the sea Here is one like sunrise It’s older than you know It’s still just lying there, where some careless wave Forgot it long ago When I awoke this morning Dove beneath my floating home Down below her graceful side in the turning tide To watch the sea fish roam There I heard a story From the sailors of the Sandra Marie There’s another island It’s a day’s run away from here It’s empty and free From here to Venezuela There’s nothing more to see Than a hundred thousand islands Flung like jewels upon the sea For you and me Sunset smells of dinner Women are calling at me to end my tails But perhaps I’ll see you, the next quiet place I furl my sails — A small tribute for David Crosby
Any artist will tell you, a complicated painting needs simplifying and a certain amount of study. I have this complicated painting to do and first of all the perspective is challenging. So I had to work on it. I found the horizon line first (where the eyes of the viewer “photographer” were) and traced a horizon line. Then with a ruler acting as a pivot, I found my two vanishing points. There are actually three, but I winged that one (the vertical one).
Then I drew the scene in small thumbnail size, about 4″ x 3″, and then painted in the different values with Payne’s Grey. Yes, I have used a pencil for this, as I think that it would be impossible for me to paint in direct watercolours. Some painters might be able to, but not I.
Now let’s hope that tomorrow the final result is somewhat good. We’ll see -)))
Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook 4″ x 6″ Watercolours: Graham Payne’s Grey
Music : a short composition of a romantic or dreamy character suggestive of night, typically for piano. Art : a picture of a night scene.
Did you know that trying out a new way of painting is so bloody difficult? So difficult that I do not even recognize myself in this painting. I can’t find myself in it, even though I know full well that I am the one that painted it.
It’s funny as the same thing happened to me when I handed in my Master’s thesis. When I reread it, I could not find myself in it, as there is a certain “way” of writing that you must follow when writing a thesis… and I was not there. It all looked well and dandy, but nowhere could I be found.
So the same thing goes with painting. Learning a new way of painting is making me “see” differently and I have to apply the paints in a different manner. I could say that I am an apprentice of some sort. Again no lines were put down at the beginning, I laid down a wet wash throughout the paper, then right away added some mountains and reflections in the water. Then waited a bit for the wash to dry a bit, and added the forest. Then waited for it to totally dry and then added the foreground forest and reflections in the water.
There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual — become clairvoyant. We reach then into reality. Such are the moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom. — The Art Spirit by Robert Henri
I painted this evening scene three times before I was happy with it. At least my horizon line is lower, and I could have lowered it even more. But it’s ok all in all. The scanned painting is not as nice as the real thing, it seems flatter.
Sun warms the lizard’s back and the humble back of the mountain. A raven croaks from the top of a thermal. The valley oak above the barn, dying a huge branch at a time, stands in calm mortability, content with the warm light that has fed its leaves, the dark waters that have fed its roots, its acorns that have fed the woodpeckers for five hundred rainy seasons. — Ursula K. Le GUin
I have always loved being a student, and I remember in my very young years when school stopped in summer I would be one of the only ones that was sad. In retrospect, during the winter months, my family and I lived in a middle-sized city and in the summer months, totally reclusive… on a beautiful and wonderful lakefront. So my friends got to be divided in two… the winter friends and the summer friends.
This is a bit like this. Some of my winter friends are right out there in the past, and my summer friends seem to be closer to me. So weird in a sense, if you get what I mean.
This is totally unfinished as I am starting over tomorrow morning. The first mistake that I made was the horizon. The horizon, right smack in the middle of the page? No. So tomorrow you will get another version of this… hopefully improved. Even though I really like this.
Paper: Saunders Waterford 12″x9″ Colours: Hansa Deep, Cobalt Blue, Raw Umber, Payne’s Grey
We came from the far side of the river of starlight and will cross back over in a little boat no bigger than two cupped hands. Thinking about compassion. A firefly in a great dark garden. An earthworm naked on a concrete path. I think of the journey we will take together in the oarless boat across the shoreless river. — Ursula K. Le Guin
I remember the first time that I biked with no hands… exhilarating to say the least. Well this painting is a bit the same. I painted this with absolutely no lines before… straight with watercolours. A feat for moi, for sure! So bloody difficult even if it does look easy… It certainly is a challenge, for someone who loves drawing and using “lines” everywhere. Hah-hah!
Paper: Saunders Waterford 12″x9″ Colours: Hansa Medium, Q. Rose, Cerulean and Ultramarine
From sunrise the wind blows always to sunset going where the stars go my breath the wind this little boat my body its ragged sail my soul going where the stars go — Ursula LeGuin, Final Poems 2014-2018
Painted the same image three times and it gave three different results. The aim was to create a morning atmosphere as this was an early photo scene. I am presently following Uma Kelkar’s amazing class, and she is making us work on morning landscapes, evenings and nocturnes. Can’t say enough good words about her as she is an amazing teacher. I am really not used to painting without lines, so this is a huge challenge for me. Which one do you prefer? I’d love to hear from you…
I’m still seeing the Lonely Mountain Erebor today…
A dry-voiced chickadee reproves what’s gone amiss. From our crab-apple tree she gazes critically at autumn’s entropy and quietly says this: I am Chickadee, and things have gone amiss. — Ursula K. LeGuin
When I finally looked at my painting, I thought that this could be the Lonely Mountain Erebor in The Lord of the Rings. I have not painted in a while, because of an erratic schedule. When I was working, my schedule was the same, day in and day out. With retirement in tow, it is now all over the place, a haphazard array of classes, fitness sessions, drinking my coffee oh so slowly… the sublime gesture of it all! There and here!
This painting was done in direct watercolour with no lines before. Just to remind me why it looks the way that it does. Humph!