Monday, September 1, 2014
|Ah, September, watercolor, 3.9 x 9.8"|
September is a unique month, because it still very much like summer (okay, it still is summer.) In September, is as though the heat and headiness of summer is gathered in a pot and simmered and reduced until it is a tangy elixir ready to be poured over a big pile of crunchy autumn leaves in October. Enjoy it while it lasts!
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
|Newton's Apple Tree, underpainting in watercolor|
My favored media combination is watercolor and pastel. Starting with a watercolor underpainting, I had a particular goal to show how effective it is to place the complementary color of red underneath the grass area (please see the photo above left.) That was going to be my focus during the demonstration (the first of three demonstrations given in conjunction with More & More, a juried exhibit of mixed media pieces at MS Rezny Studio/Gallery.)
I set to work, preconceiving that I would be making an endless succession of small vertical green marks for the grass. Well, I had already ignored a couple of important guidelines that I profess: 1) Don't preconceive; don't figure that you know in advance how to render something. You will always be looking anew at your subject and making decisions based on your perception. Spend some time considering your subject and be objective. 2) Follow the direction of the image (Don't follow directions--follow the direction!) The neatly trimmed grass surrounding Newton's apple tree was similar to a napped velvet. So, rather than a vertical direction, the grass had more of a horizontal direction. Fortunately, as I was busy making all those vertical marks, our little group was enjoying a lively philosophical discussion. Finally, Mary allowed as how the grass could stand to be mowed. True! Luckily, this could be accomplished by lightly stroking the pastel marks horizontally (please see photo above right.) Which brings up a third guideline: Redemption is always possible with watercolor and pastel!
After the demonstration, I decided to take up some of the pastel. This is accomplished by brushing on water and mopping up the pastel. The "tooth" of the paper is restored and I could take the more appropriate approach of horizontal strokes of green to render the grass.
This approach did the trick. I was able to give the impression of a well cared for lawn; one that would have restricted access. Since you have stuck with me thus far, I had better tell you the story about the lawns of Cambridge (the setting for this painting.) Apparently, originally the Fellows (academic leaders in the colleges of Cambridge) were not allowed to marry. Since the Fellows had to bear this sacrifice, it was considered what special privilege they could enjoy in compensation; and that privilege was that the Fellows could walk on the grass! So that is why mere mortals are not allowed to sully the manicured lawns of the colleges. But the grass is truly a side story, the subject is Newton's Apple Tree. Newton studied at Trinity College, Cambridge and in honor of his residence at the college, they keep an apple tree on the lawn in front. According to our tour guide, this tree is a succession of grafts onto the original (the one with the falling apple, presenting gravity to Newton.) Through this exercise, I find myself continuing on the learning path. Many thanks to Sir Isaac's apple tree!
|Newton's Apple Tree, 12 x 18", watercolor & pastel|
More & More will be on display at MS Rezny Studio/Gallery, 903 Manchester Street, Lexington, KY through July 2014. It is a wonderful show worth visiting!
Thursday, June 19, 2014
|London Eye's Big Ben, 5 x 7", watercolor on Arches paper|
Monday, June 16, 2014
|Rainy Day along the Thames, 5 x 7", watercolor on Arches paper|
Before we left, the weather forecast predicted rain every day of our trip in London. As it turned out, there were only a couple of rainy days, and they were not too bad. The worst rain fell on us as we departed Westminster Abbey and on another day St. Paul's Cathedral. Perhaps the weather gods and the Church of England got together on this! Rain seems to go with the atmosphere in London and the Thames is a natural organizing factor for Europe's largest city. This painting celebrates the two and gave me the exercise of depicting rain on the coach's window as well as allowing me to revisit a lovely trip.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
|Early in the morning on Paris Pike|
|Evensong, 12 x 12" watercolor/pastel on paper mounted on board|
scene driving home on Paris Pike after choir practice
Beauty is just the thing that I am seeking and I hope to find it every day.
Friday, May 9, 2014
|Underlit at Carnico, 7 x 5", watercolor/pastel|
The view on the right is outside my window in Lexington. When I do my morning exercises, I am treated to this view. It had been quite drab during the late winter months. Then the tender spring greens appeared. Now it is so leafed out that there is
|Village View, 7 x 5", watercolor/pastel|
You may see these paintings at MS Rezny Studio/Gallery, 903 Manchester Street in Lexington, KY. I will use my new work space to put them in frames and they will be in the drawers at the Gallery soon.