Monday, February 21, 2011

Painting on vacation....

As you may deduce from my attire, the weather on Grand Cayman was sunny and WINDY!  But the view was spectacular!  [no snow!]

is like being a child in a candy shop in your dreams.  Everything tastes good.  No one is there to stop or influence your choices.  All colors look appealing.  Everywhere you turn, something beautiful or unusual is tempting.  Time stands still.  I am painting out of time, beyond time.

Writing is a recursive activity.  Thank, write, read over what you've written, think, make changes, write more, reread, think, make more changes.  Writing is an on-going revising process.

Painting is recursive in a similar manner, but with less stop and go.  The thinking process goes on simultaneously with the painting process.  Each color chosen, the placement of each stroke of the brush involves continuous decision-making, evaluating, assessment, adjustment.  However, painting in watercolors allows for much less revision than painting in oils or pastels.

"Carribean Morning," 9 x 12, unfinished watercolor by Joan Cole, copyright 2011

I have not painted with watercolors for at least a year.  It is so different from oils or pastels.   It is working from light to dark, which means knowing before I start where I want my lightest lights or whitest whites left.  So, the tops of clouds and crests of waves must stay untouched until I've worked my painting around them.

"Carribean Afternoon," 9 x 12, unfinished watercolor by Joan Cole, copyright 2011

That is the opposite thought process required for painting in oils and pastels.  There, I can start with midtones and build up and down in value.  Or, I can begin with my darks and work up.

How I long for my oils to push around like vanilla butter frosting to shape the waves I'm watching roll in and crest and break.  The colors are so spectacular, and I am so rusty with watercolor.  It's a delicious challenge.

(Note:  This post was written a week ago when we were vacationing on Grand Cayman Island in the Carribean.  I spent the week painting in watercolors, writing, and relaxing.  We'll have to wait to see what I do with the paintings I created.  As you can tell, I don't consider them finished yet.)


Calista said...

Can't wait to see what you do, if anything, to Caribbean Afternoon.

Hélène Glehen said...

How lucky you are Joan, having enjoyed the sun and a peaceful time under the tropics.
I looking forward to see your paintings :o)

Joan Cole said...

Dear Helene,
Yes, you are absolutely right! I was very fortunate to be able to rest on Grand Cayman Island and paint, paint, paint. It was such a joy. But you know that joy yourself, painting the beautiful flowers in your garden! Have a lovely weekend.