Monthly Archives: August 2010

Grandma

During last weekend’s watercolor class I did a quick portrait of my Grandma, who hosted the class.
I’m really very pleased with it. Perhaps not so much how it looks aesthetically, (although I am rather pleased with that as well) but more because of what it means to me as a record of a place and time and a relationship.  As long as I can remember, I have memories of painting with my Grandma.  She has always been generous with her time and creativity.  She taught me how to sew, china paint, make dolls and even let me try my hand at making lamp shades, finishing my shade after I lost interest halfway through.  She has encouraged me in every artistic endeavor I have ever taken on.

To me, this portrait reminds me of the hundreds of hours spent with grandma, painting, eating, listening to music and talking about life, God and art, and to me, that is a precious thing.

I love you Grandma.

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Let me count the reasons why…

I love watercolor.  I love it’s simplicity.  I love it’s transparent luminosity. It’s just so beautiful and mysterious.

When mixing colors, especially if one or more of the pigments are made from natural substances (as opposed to synthetic dyes), the colors will partially separate as the binding medium sinks into the paper and evaporates. You can’t control a lot of this process. By experimentation you can have a good idea what the colors will do when mixed and applied in a certain way, but it’s like a chemical reaction. You wind it up, let it go, and the end result is a splendid surprise!

Over the weekend I took a watercolor class, below are a few selected swatches that I found particularly pleasing and exemplary of what I’m talking about. You’ll see a lot of cerulean blue, yellow and violets (made by mixing cad red or crimson with the cerulean), I think I was just in a mood and loving those colors together. Enjoy!