Tuesday, October 8, 2013

10-8-13 Weekly Watercolor

Along the Bluestone, 9 x 4.5", watercolor
I'm thinking ahead to my next show, which will feature people and creatures. The working title is: Earthlings. At the same time, a new style has been percolating. After a couple of visits to the Musee D'Orsay, I've become smitten with some decorative panels by Pierre Bonnard. In these works, Bonnard flattens the natural backdrop and people are decked out in flat patterns that somehow also effectively define the figures.
     So for my Weekly Watercolor, I decided to make a study for a possible work for the next show. At a wedding over the weekend, I spoke with a cousin about my plans for my new work and I also saw a young cousin, and was once again struck by her spunky personality and I thought of how well this scene would fit my new way of working. I made a pencil sketch to work out the composition and traced that off on the watercolor paper (Arches, Cold Press, 300 lb.) This study has already given me ideas for tweaking the composition and is directing me on an approach. Students in my watercolor/pastel classes might recognize this image, as I've used it for a demo-painting.
    The scene here is at Pipestem State Park near Athens, West Virginia, my mother's hometown. The Bluestone River flows through a gorge and you have to take a tram down to the lodge below. We have had a lot of fun family reunions at Pipestem. It is a very special place!

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