Inspiration from the Past
We haven’t lived in the home that inspired the watercolor still life above for over a decade, but during the years while raising kids there, I took thousands of photos, and started painting full time, which buoyed my conviction towards being a better “noticer”.
Picking What to Paint
White tile counters are reflective. The shiny ceramic surface broadcasts the color and shape of everything on and above them, so my kitchen counter at dawn became a new painting opportunity every day. We filled bowls with bird seed on the ledge outside, and happy hour gathered at dawn with feathered, chirping and squeaking over a hearty breakfast most mornings.
My bird buddies didn’t stick around for the reference photo (left of the painting in process above), but they were a regular sight in our morning routine, so I included them in the watercolor. I used Arches hot press paper (it has a very smooth surface) mounted here to a sheet of gator board (which I use constantly, because it’s lightweight, but sturdy) with artist’s gummed tape, and a combination of Windsor Newton and Graham professional watercolors. (If you’re looking for a primer on watercolor paper, feel free to download my free Watercolor Paper 101 sheets here.)
Links for You
And speaking of noticing things, like birds breakfasting in dawn light, and roses reflecting on white ceramic tiles, and the feel of smooth vs rough watercolor paper under your brushes – here’s a great article about how our brains pay attention to the things between the things we’re looking at. The Secret to Creative Vision is Paying Attention to What your Eyes Cant See.
Art Workshops Abroad
This coming Monday, I’m headed to join the good folks at WorkshopsinFrance.com for another jaw-dropping excursion through Provence. I’ll be posting photos over on Instagram and Facebook, so come follow along so you can travel with the artists on this art-filled adventure virtually. I’ll be back to blogging in late May. Have a productive few weeks in the meantime. 🙂
Thanks for stopping in, and I’ll see you in the next post!
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It is extremely difficult to obtain a hearing from men living in democracies, unless it be to speak to them of themselves. They do not attend to the things said to them, because they are always fully engrossed with the things they are doing. For indeed few men are idle in democratic nations; life is passed in the midst of noise and excitement, and men are so engaged in acting that little remains to them for thinking. I would especially remark that they are not only employed, but that they are passionately devoted to their employments. They are always in action, and each of their actions absorbs their faculties: the zeal which they display in business puts out the enthusiasm they might otherwise entertain for idea.
― Alexis de Tocqueville,