There is something so joyful about seeing my lilac bush blooming in the spring. Last spring we had a late freeze and it didn't bloom at all. So I am delighted to see the blossoms this year in spite of our cool days and night time freezing temperatures. These sprigs of lilac were sketched with watercolor only in my hand made sketchbook.
The first wild-flower of the year is like land after sea.
-Thomas Wentworth Higginson, "April Days"
And here is a sneak peek at my current painting in progress. The image I photographed last summer at our local farmers' market. I am taking my time with this one, so many shapes in this composition! It is often tempting to go too dark with some values and not dark enough with others, so it was helpful to get that central dark area established early on.
Shape by shape, I enjoy dropping in color and allowing the wet pigment work its magic on the surface of the paper. This is one of those paintings that I can envision in its finished state. I can only go along for the ride until the journey is complete and hope it doesn't disappoint.
My latest seascape in watercolor while I am missing those ocean waves. I could continue to work on this, but before I lose what is working, I am calling it finished. It's not always easy to know when to stop. Sometimes a painting will tell you. And sometimes your husband walks in and says "don't lose the freshness in this piece by painting too much".
Yesterday we went on a short sketch outing to a nearby park, the Greenway Trail, that runs through town. Although it was a sunny afternoon, it was breezy and cool. I settled on a bench where I could see an old farm across the river. Although there were other structures in this scene, the cold breeze encouraged me to simplify and focus on only those necessay shapes, values, and color to compose a scene on my sketchbook page. Beyond the trees I could see the bright yellow of a forsythia in bloom, a welcome sign of spring when warmer days can't get here fast enough.
I have several new works selected to go to the gallery next month. Ordered frames have arrived so I have plenty to do getting the work ready. And even though I have many ideas lined up for new paintings I thought I'd take a break from all of that and take a little time to experiment with some different materials. So I picked up a package of small Aquaboards to take for a spin with watercolors.
I chose a subject I am well aquainted with just to see how it would feel painting on this unique surface. And here is my first test. I probably won't finish this piece because I'm not loving this painting support for watercolor. Some of the qualities that I really enjoy about watercolor just don't translate onto this surface. Dropped in color mostly just sits there. And additional layers pick up the color underneath. It is nice that color can easily be lifted back to the white of the board but all in all it's not for me. No magic happening here.
I did, however, want to let you know that for the entire month of April I am offering 15% off everything in my Etsy shop. Use coupon code APRIL15 between now and April 30th to receive the discount.
And if you follow my Facebook page I am having a give-away to kick off my shop sale! You can find the link to my Facebook page over there on the side bar or click here to enter the give-away. The winner will receive an original watercolor painting. But hurry, the drawing closes Sunday, April 5 and the winner will be announced Monday, April 6!