Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Autumn leaves and roses(again)

I have been watching the trees turn and drop their leaves for weeks now on my (almost) daily walk, and thinking I must come back with sketchbook and paints to try and catch the jewel-like colours in the morning light. I didn't though, and there are now just a few left clinging to the nearly bare branches. So I gathered some outside our front door and piled them into my studio, and finally got to paint them yesterday. I have to have two watercolour paintings on the go at a time, as I can't stand waiting for the paint to dry on one, unless there's another to carry on with.
I thought I had painted the last autumn rose, but as the trees release their final golden offerings of the season, there is a whole new flush of buds and blossoms overlooking the icy swimming pool. I made a 'value' pencil sketch out there, and took a photo, and picked a rose to bring back to my studio on the other side of the house, and tried to paint the scene both freely and with an eye to composition, value, rythym etc.
I feel I am making progress! It was jolly hard work for much of the day and I was exhausted afterwards, (plus we had an unruly night with the cat tossing a rat around the kitchen, frightening the dog and keeping us all awake!) but I want to keep it up today before my thoughts on how to go about it are scattered again like those autumn leaves...

10 comments:

Helen Percy Lystra said...

We're welcoming the colors of Spring as you usher in the colors of fall... love both of these but am especially partial to the rose for some reason... perhaps because it isn't something I see often and I do see those beautiful colors of fall beginning in October here.

laura said...

Very nice--beautiful colors. Sounds like a hectic night last night!
(P.S. To answer the question on my blog: Judi painted on the acetate in watercolor--it didn't adhere terribly well, but enough to see what the change would look like.)

Gillian said...

These paintings brought on a wave of homesickness - a longing for an African autumn, especially to sit on your patio with a cup of tea (and a Romany Cream or two) and stare at the loeries up in the jacaranda tree. Are they still there, or have they moved on in search of a warmer, sunnier spot?

Cathy Gatland said...

Helen, I think we see a fraction of the autumn glories that you and other Northern Hemispherites do - some years better than others. Enjoy your spring!
Thanks Laura - yes, acetate isn't the friendiest surface for watercolour, so wondered - but a useful tip.
And Gillian... how I'd love to have you over for tea on the stoop (trying to give up the Romany Creams tho'). I think the loeries (louries?) might have moved up north a bit, but our days are so warm and clear and sunny - just the nights getting frosty (hence the rats looking for a warm spot to nest I guess) XXX

Vivienne said...

Lovely glimpse of your garden in autumn. We've had such warm weather that the leaves are mostly turning brown and falling without going through all their most glorious colours. I believe these are caused by breakdown of starches and sugars so they can be stored away by the plant before the leaves are lost. Obviously temperature plays a part. Someone I knew used to empty ice around her Japanese maple to try and make it red in autumn.

Adam Cope said...

hi cathy

nice work in second wc - particularly like the near & far (near flowers & far swimming pool) which is very difficult to achieve.

glimpses of far away lands, converstaions overheard of three painters. Hope you are all well

paint on, your progress is visible

laureline said...

Cathy, these are absolutely breathtaking! So fresh, so sure, loose and luscious.

myfrenchkitchen said...

Lovely paintings cathy! Both the autumn colours and the roses!and to agree with Gillian, I also have a homesickness lately and can just picture how it must look there right now...
ronell

africantapestry said...

I'm sorry cathy, I think I left a comment under Myfrenchkitchen instead of Africantapestry...
ronell

Cathy Gatland said...

Hi Adam, Laura and Ronel - great to see you all back from your sojourns away and thanks for dropping in here again.