Monday, August 9, 2010

Winter garden

I've had a small flurry of impulsive painting in the last couple of days - I revisited an oil painting that I decided was deadly boring, now not sure if I've stuffed it up completely or improved it, so I'm taking a while to look at it and decide which. I may share that later... or not! I then thought I'd do a watercolour on one of my stash of big sheets (65x48cm) with wet drippy paint, masking out highlights so the brushstrokes could be loose... just looking out of my studio door at the bare plum tree and bits of foliage down the side of the wall for subject matter, I started splashing... As soon as the paint went on I found, once again, that this paper has got too old, too hot and cold, or dry... and lost its sizing so just sucked up the moisture. Nevertheless, I carried on painting with rather murky colours, and when it was dry, went in with my Caran d'Ache Neocolor crayons, as the watercolour wasn't behaving as it should - happily a grey lourie came and sunned himself in the branches and provided a needed focal point. Still painting too fast and without forethought, this is really a big sketch, but I think that's the way my life is right now - catching the chance to do what I can and when.

19 comments:

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

I love impulsive painting Cathy..and your painting show why I do! I love your textures and the winter color...I simply love all of it! and yes...also your expression.."catching the chance to do what I can and when"...great piece of wisdom. My daughter would call you "Yoda"
Bisous
Ronelle

RHCarpenter said...

I this is is wonderful! Sorry about the paper not behaving but those watercolor crayons are lifesavers :) So nice of the bird to come and visit just when you needed him!

Penny said...

I loved the look of those branches and foliage, and then read of the problems you had with it.
All I can say is wow I love the way this looks.

Debbie Drechsler said...

Although the Lourie is a welcome addition, I think the branches of the tree are utterly engaging and worthy on their own as focal interest. I love the different colored branches and the grasses intertwining with them!

Charlene Brown said...

I love the effect you achieved by masking highlights before a nice drippy wash. And I don't see the mud you claim to have generated with your tired old paper, so the grey lourie must have indeed saved the day!

Cathy Gatland said...

Thanks Ronelle! I prefer Yoda to Gollum, which is what my son once called me as I emerged from the swimming pool! :)

Thanks Rhonda - yes, I was happy to give the crayons an airing, and the paper actually freed me up to try something else.

Hi Penny, thank you - I guess problems create opportunities!

Debbie, I was wondering about that, if one could have a sprawling sort of focal point, but I do like the bird - they are coming every morning now looking for their fruit.

Thanks Charlene, I have an aversion to masking fluid, but for this it worked quite well - suits the twiggy subject. The paint was supposed to separate into nice granulations, so I perceived it as mud when it didn't!

lesliepaints said...

I want this outside my studio window! (really it's my kitchen window) Absolutely beautiful.

Vivienne said...

Happy 3rd Anniversary of the Blog! It is a joy to all. And Happy Birthday today (11th in Aus, anyway). Have a great day.Lots of love and good wishes coming your way.Nice to see the go'way bird and WHAT a beautiful painting!! He's quite a subtle ghostly sort of focal point I think, which is great as they are a bit 'now you see me, now you don't.' XXX

Sandra said...

Wow - This is just a sketch? Really? I am truly in awe!!!

Marie Theron said...

Impulsive it may be,Cathy, but it has a wonderful underlying structure. It looks planned. The tortured grid of gnarled dry branches spells out "winter" and through them all the workings of nature are visible. This could be the planning for a large oil painting.

Carol King said...

I like the addition of the crayon on the watercolor. And the bird in the branches. Very nice!

Robyn said...

I am totally engaged with the patterns and dimension of those branches, Cathy. What a beautiful big painting There should be more of it. Also love the wonderful grasses. Don't stop now!

I didn't realise paper goes stale - I had better stop looking at the special full sheet I've had on top of the cupboard for a few years now.

Laura said...

It is bursting with vitality and fun and great character! And I know what you mean about the way life is right now. I'm trying to get better at catching those chances you mention.
There's such a wonderful pattern of shapes and lines created by those branches... wow.

Anais said...

Powerful result: love it!

Desiree said...

Wow, Cathy this is really wonderful. Paper goes stale? I love the way you call it a sketch, LOL, its a wonderful painting to me. I love the peek-a-boo quality of the painting

Ralph said...

I liked very much reading this blog what I saw and what I learned from a good artist. I will follow in future.

Gillian said...

This is so pleasing to the eye and I think quite different looking from your usual style. I love the grey lourie in there. Love the art for art's sake and the bird brings waves of nostalgia. Wish I could hear him! Happy 3rd anniversary for your blog - how time flies when you're having fun! :)

Rachel Rolseth said...

This is absolutely stunning. But don't you know you're not supposed to say the W-word in August?!! Maybe that's the Minnesota in me coming out. Very nice though, I love the shapes of the branches.

Cathy Gatland said...

Sorry I didn't keep up with replying to all the nice and very kind comments here - thank you so much Leslie, VivienneXX, Sandra, Marie, Carol, Robyn, Laura, Anais, Desiree, Ralph, GillianXX (kisses for my sisters:)and Rachel - here in the Southern hemisphere, August IS the W-word, though Spring is rapidly adorning those branches with blossoms now!