are coming –
just you wait
are coming –
just you wait
Watercolor Secret….. It is simple and Quick!
Just allow your loaded up watercolor brush to lightly ‘kiss’ the paper surface.
Think of your paper as if it were a delicate butterfly wing you don’t wish to damage.
But to – merely touch with the gentlest of touches.
That is it.
Nothing complicated, just simple.
In this serene, impressionist watercolor calmness prevails.
With a warm, well diluted Naples Yellow watercolor applied as the all over wash first to set the tone.
For my darker areas, I needed deep rich tones of burnt sienna and burnt umber.
The hints of tree trunks were created randomly, with the tip of a skewer.
I did, have several of these on the go this session.
It helps me. It prevents me, from fiddling with watercolors.
There’s been no heavy handed, rough harsh use of the brush.
Just enough brushstrokes, to accomplish the task intended – no more.
And then the pause.
A time for Reflection….
Understanding – that yes, enough was said and done.
Watercolor responds best, when it is understood.
When you Know, what each paint, each pigment you use, will and won’t do.
When the artist is fully able, to direct the brush and the pigment with that oh so delicate ‘kiss’ upon the paper.
I have avoided any rubbing, scrubbing paint color in, dobbing and dab-dab-dabbing of the brush.
Watercolor dislikes intensely the dobbing and dabbing one could skate by perhaps, with oils.
Watercolor thrives under a more sensitive, softer, lighter handed approach.
The brush, fully loaded, just meets the uppermost top layer of the paper’s surface.
Is what Watercolor loves most.
That is when you get the best results out of watercolor.
It makes life easier, in this endeavor, when the brush you use is not a synthetic blend. They foster, the stiffer dobbing brush strokes. The 100% natural hair brushes, sable, squirrel, etc. provide a fluidity watercolor loves.
Now, I have to duck out real quick. The art shop is having a sale……..
Texture and Color are always fun.
Relaxing and exciting, at the same time.
Gorgeous aquamarines with copper and gold and a deep prussian blue in the first image were beautiful to work with. The Naples Yellow, Cobalt Teal Blue and the soft neutral greys in the next two were ….. Super fun!
I pulled over into the nature reserve’s parking bay. Quickly glancing down at my watch, 7:08 am, (just double checking.) Mentally going through my morning checklist. Organising the sequence of events.
Wondering if I, really, should be taking this time.
Should I, be using this time to enjoy, a short walk on the calm side.
The Walk begins with limitations, with less than ideal circumstances.
I’m going to do it regardless.
And make the most out of it.
I grabbed my camera, locked the car, stuffed the keys in my pocket.
Mind’s in overdrive.
Be in the car and back on the road, by 8 am.
Be at the first appointment at 8:15
Yes. That is doable.
OK. I’m set.
Strange way to begin a walk meant to relax, meant to be restorative, meant to de-stress.
All the while, thinking: stick to the plan, move in the ordered sequence.
Get all the items marked off, finished.
At least today, I allowed my self more than 7 minutes.
Does any of this, sound familiar?
Anyone else, ever ‘over structure’ their time to relax, their zen time so that it just might not be so very zen after all?
Usually I approach my walks, well, more like Zen Strolls.
But. You know….. the holidays.
Then, there is the sun.
Early mornings are still around 80 degrees right now and nice.
5am would be ideal.
I just don’t want to get in the car then.
I need my coffee.
It IS about priorities.
The target goal is back in the car in 45.
Hop to it.
My first pause was the bridge again.
You saw it differently in the last post. Here, I am.
Today’s bridge photo features the cool calmness of green, the reflections rippling.
Advising me perhaps, to “slow down.”
Lovely lavender – blue agapanthas were scattered around the parkland reserve.
The morning light, was perfect.
A few minutes went by………….
I was enchanted by the colors, the soft light of morning.
I felt myself relaxing.
Breathing in nice, big, deep breaths.
A park bench was right alongside the footpath.
I glanced then kept walking.
Thinking, “No Time.”
I reluctantly walked on by another 30 meters.
I turned around.
Back to the bench and sat myself down.
After all, this, is going to be A Walk on the Calm Side.
Ten minutes went by.
It was calm, meditative.
I was enjoying this.
Blood pressure was going down, I was going to be refreshed, energized.
Time was being spent, wisely.
Not wasted. Not sliding, careening away, forgotten.
Each of the moments here, I will, remember.
I jotted down color notes.
I engaged all my senses.
I wrote notations on the flowers, trees, the wind, the sounds, the temperature, the shadows, the softness of light.
Even how the bark would feel, and how the petals did feel.
I made these minutes relevant.
I spent my time. It definitely wasn’t wasted.
I still had to make it around the small lake, though, back to my car.
The rust colored fence with curved metal bars, intrigued me.
I loved the shapes, the tones, the forms. I liked the depth of field.
I thought of how Light Red watercolor paint would be perfect for this fence.
I thought of how this image would be ideal for class interpretation.
How easily they could see the tonal values, light and shade in the shapes and forms.
The next pause, was the quiet reflections.
Again, the hints of light red played a role, but it was softer in this.
Less dominating. Calmer.
I’ve stepped up my pace marginally.
Not a brisk walk by any means.
No more sitting.
Then my eyes caught the design, the patterns, the light on the calm side of the lake.
I had to stop.
The subject was right up my alley.
Swirling patterns, and so nearly monochromatic.
The most striking feature was the sense of peacefulness it seemed to evoke.
I was here, for a much longer time.
The subject demanded it.
And who am I to refuse a subject, a Muse…. when she calls?
Taking the last shot, I flipped the camera off, put the lens cap on.
Grabbed my keys.
Glanced at my watch……..
In my car, on the road.
55 Memorable Minutes.
A lovely Walk on the Calm Side.
Watercolors. Back to Basics.
Simplicity….. I like it.
Its about the basics.
Trying to express with the brush, what you see and ‘feel.’
A watercolor Christmas holiday tree, kept nice and easy.
Not with all the hoopla, and dizzying busy-ness that makes our heads spin.
This was deliberate.
Created with simplicity in mind.
Done with the specific targeted goal of trying to paint “simplicity.”
And then hoping, that feeling of Simplicity, might follow me around elsewhere.
Even if, it was just the rest of the day. Or week.
My mind was in the creative zone.
I shut off everything else.
it didn’t take long.
I didn’t need to devote precious, Time.
All I spent in total, was 5 minutes.
The brush danced along and I had fun watching it move.
Yes… I know,
I was holding the brush.
But I was really, only gently directing its pathways.
I wasn’t forcing it or ‘making it’ go anywhere.
There was no rigid tight control freak in charge….today. I’m not, perfect!
It is this part of The Art Basics, that often gets left out of art classes.
The one-ness between you and the brush, the paints, the papers, ie your materials.
And its this Partnership that enables you, to master Simplicity.
You might like to view Tony Smibert’s art images at smibert.com
He is a current, internationally known artist who most certainly,
has mastered the art of Simplicity.
Magic happens in so few, beautiful brush strokes.
Tony works in both watercolors and abstracts, and acrylic on canvas.
The Lily. Loveliness of form, lithe and ever so long lasting.
Many might shun this most elegant of flowers.
Thinking of mortality.
I never do.
Or “Zante de schia aethiopica” a flower originating from Southern Africa.
I guess many now, associate this glorious flower with sadness and mourning.
It wasn’t always so.
Its a cheap flower to grow. That makes it useful for those sad occasions, unfortunately.
It used to be associated with happier things… before commercialism spoiled it for many.
People were reminded of:
Youth, innocence, purity, faith, rebirth, the virgin Mary and even the Greek goddess Hera.
Things fit for “just daydreams.”
She stands tall.
Rising out of her dark beginnings.
All length and elegance.
A beautiful, surprise.
From the midst of mud and clay.
The arum, or calla lily grows in the wetlands, very often as a discard.
Littering the roadside ditches in abundance – as weeds – in early spring.
She loves to have her roots sunk deep.
To delve down through the damp and get her fill of the goodness.
Of that rich, fertile soil she rests in.
Graceful and elegant.
Ready, to be admired.
Ready to have her portrait done.
To be drawn, to be painted.
An artist’s dream.
Greek mythology (Hera) … articles Aquileana
Nature. The allure of those hushed and quiet spaces.
Spaces So quiet, yet filled to overflowing.
And when you leave them,
as you do –
they will always,
haunt your memories.
Those spaces never, really leave you.
A simple scene.
Pared down to a minimalist design.
Using the least amount of paints and brushstrokes possible.
Yet, striving to make each one of those, imperative.
No more. No less.
It is a hard task to restrain the compulsion we all seem to have ….. that calls incessantly for “More.”
But if you can do it, then the viewers’ can also see what you saw and felt:
That haunting magic Nature speaks through color –
in the quiet, filled spaces.
The key with this painting, was to make every thing I did, each step moment by moment…. count.
To be fully present.
From the selection of brush, paper, paints, music played, techniques used, brush stroke direction and number.
I made each mark relevant, as the clock ticked.