Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Impressions: My Watercolors

Detail, Spring Rose
inspired by CheyAnneSexton

inspired by Yael Berger
 I have not been as diligent as I'd hoped about sharing my amateur artistic endeavors.
Partly because photographing art is really challenging (perfect light is hard to come by these days), and partly because I've been super busy painting. :)  
Last term I took an acrylic class, which taught me exactly how  much I did not know about painting (but it was fun).  This term I am taking a watercolor class, and, despite the odd crisis about shadows, shading and perspective, it's teaching me how much I do know (or maybe it's all just starting to sink in).

Watercolor, so far, is my favorite medium. I love working with water. I love the fact that your paints dry on the color plate or palette and you never have to worry about them again.  I love that it's not messy and that it's so quick.  It doesn't involve a lot of the complexity regarding drying and waiting that oil or acrylic do.  And besides all that, it's dear to my heart because it's the first type of painting I ever seriously put my mind to learning on my own.
Radishes / Beets?
inspired by Yael Berger

I've really enjoyed the class so far, which has been going for about a month or so.  It's given by the same teacher I had for acrylic though the crowd is really different.  I'm also finding that because of the minimal clean up watercolor requires, I am also painting a lot outside of class in my own time. And Roman is slowly but surely being tamed into don't-touch-the-watercolors submission.  I also think I'm enjoying it because I've made a friend with a girl in my class and we've started meeting up outside of class for painting sessions as well - usually involving drinks and snacks :) - and have even embarked on a project: making a book illustrated with our watercolors.

This idea originally started when a friend of mine in London told me she was taking an art class in which she was writing and illustrating a children's book about her son.  That sounded right up my alley and so I thought, why not use my watercolors to do it? That has slowly morphed into making a keepsake for Roman to have about Portland in time for when we move to Denver at the end of May.

So not only do I enjoy watercoloring but now my hobby also has a short-term goal and purpose, which elevates it to something more meaningful for me.  And as fun as trawling Etsy for inspiration (see The Joy of Color and CheyAnneSexton for just two that I really love) and objects to copy - a fantastic way to observe and learn techniques when you don't have a teacher in front of you - I'm looking forward to taking some of my personal photographs or ideas and making them an entirely original piece of work.  God knows I have enough photographs to do it.
Spring Rose, with border
Anyway, I wanted to share some of my "work" thus far. I am really proud of my flower (title picture above), which I think really encompasses the feel in Portland right now. Spring is springing and the whole world seems to be boisterously desperate to embody that beautiful sunshine that blooming flowers are. As for the rest, they are a mix of things I've done in the past two months, and while some of them are decidedly crappy, I'm pretty proud of them too. :)
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Detail, radishes / beets?
I'm really proud of these stems!

Maine countryside, from a book
Little bird, copy from here
Non-Descript Landscape
Moody Maine coastline,
copy of a Charles Wright original

Spring flowers

San Pellegrino Blood Orange

Ruby Red Grapefruit, lame attempt at this
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