Blossoming

What a way to spend a long weekend – hardly leaving the house, painting from early morning experimenting with watercolors, and although I am not a good watercolor painter, doing these sketches has inspired many ideas for further work, both in watercolor and in oil.

Easter sketch #9

I am not sure of the name of this blossom, but it grows on a tree at this time of year and is a beautiful purple color. I call it the June Blossom Tree. I saw a branch blossoming and overhanging a wall on Saturday on my way to the supermarket, so picked one and carried it home. I obsessed over it for three days, paintings maybe a dozen sketches. Haven’t cracked it yet….

Easter sketch # 10Watercolor must be the most difficult of paints to use, but its so soft and gentle, so translucent, so spontaneous and effortless when done properly that its worth persisting with and trying to become proficient.

Easter sketch # 4Not being there yet, I experimented with inks on this one, as I haven’t managed to add enough contrast with just the pure paint and brushwork yet.

Easter sketch #4Looking at them now I can see much room for development and of course improvement. What a lovely way to spend the weekend, and to end it perfectly, it rained a lovely soaking rain this afternoon. After the heat and drying wind we’ve been having, it was a true blessing for my garden.

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Easter Rising

Bouganvillea Sketch #1

All alone – absolute bliss….noone here but me. Nowhere to go and nothing to do, so I set up the veranda with watercolor materials. The idea is to do some sketches before going onto an oil or two of bougainvillea. Here they are.

Bouganvillea Sketch #2
Its April now, and too hot and unsafe to paint on the roadsides of Kingston, so the plan for the Easter break is to continue to develop my work with flowers from my garden, and hopefully create some interesting paint marks/strokes. Watercolor dries quickly, so some exploratory sketches shouldn’t take too long and may lead to some inspiration for a strong composition and an interesting palette for a large oil.

By the way, anyone looking for a good read, may I recommend Adrian McKinty’s “Dead I Well May Be”. A friend lent me 4 books of his, and this the first novel he wrote, I believe. He’s a raunchy bard, this Irishman, and the book packs punch from start to finish, a violent saga told with a velvet tongue. His language is intoxicating, addictive, a pared down voice of wit. I think I’d read one thriller prior to this, as I have no interest in Who-dunnits, but this is written so beautifully that it hooked me, even after the drama of the first near-killing had me up all night, so upset I was by the Belfast brutality of it.

I tried the sequel but had to put it down as the protagonist had morphed from the consummate bad-boy anti-hero to a cardboard cut-out of his former self, and not to be disappointed I left him… I like bad boys with soul, but not narcissists…

Young at Art hits the road

A very dear friend who lives surrounded by art and beauty invited me to her home to teach an art workshop this weekend gone. With easels and boards, paints and paper, rags, pots and pencils, I hit the road to give my first weekend workshop.

Saturday morning bright and early a keen group of budding artists gathered on Nikki Delisser’s veranda to learn the basics of painting. A stunning view of the sea stretched out in the distance, the garden and trees surrounded us, and birds sang a happy song. Even an owl looked on from his home in the tree that gives the veranda shade….

The Paint Station

owlWe began with an introduction on how to use brushes, mix colors, and apply paint evenly, with a demonstration to make it all very clear…

photo

Everyone got to their easels with paint, brushes and paper, and made the first few strokes on their pages…

The Studio : )

…and that’s when the fun began!

Marvelous Mandala-type paintings manifested miraculously….

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…with a limited palette and a set of new brushes each, magic happened.

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Everyone painted designs that could grace any surface: ceramic plates and platters, place-mats and bags, t-shirts and fabric prints,  mosaic or roulette tables, screen savers, cushions and covers – whatever takes your fancy.

'Vegas!'

'Far Away and Within'

Some were simple, some cosmic, some playful, others sophisticated. Each piece was an expression of the personality of the artist who painted it, and they were so varied and unique we had quite an interesting time discussing the messages and meanings communicated…

Mace's Magic

What fun!

After a lovely lunch we got back to work, spending the afternoon examining how to draw a simple face, and then how to suggest the contours of the face in pencil.

sketching

The veranda with its wide sofas and cool breeze allowed everyone to find their own quiet comfortable space…

working quietly IMG_3797

Music played softly, coffee and tea and ice water were always available, and the time slipped by…

veranda work

By the end of the day everyone had begun to understand how to draw a face, from the simple framework…

simple drawing

…to something more complex; seeing how TONE suggests DIMENSION.
contours

A good day, and we parted as the sun went down, going home for a well-deserved rest.

Day Two and it was back to painting, incorporating the technical skills of using brushes and paint with our newfound understanding of how to render a face.

miss nicks

Using a limited palette and carefully examining the shapes that light creates on a face, we worked from morning ’til evening, breaking for a short lunch and a group discussion, but  mostly really focusing, and getting caught up in the spell of the work…

lyndalee

LyndaLee’s angel appeared in an epiphany,

Stella

and Stella’s gentle child came out to play and soothe…

Miss Nicks

Miss Nicks kind and wise woman assured her that All is Well, and we can withstand challenges of all kinds once we have inner peace and calm…

Steph's Bling

Steph’s Cerulean Goddess comes from a place of golden sands and blue skies, and LOVES to dress up!

breakthrough

Bruce’s Guide led him to a Breakthrough.

Shree

Shree’s Geisha Lady stands self-contained and fantastic!

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Shelley’s lady is illuminated in moonlight, bathed in solitude and quiet…

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Kathryn’s young man is looking for a bright future in Jamaica, neither JLP nor PNP poli-tricks corrupting the radiance and power of his potential…

caroline

Caroline’s maiden reminds her of her the past Mists of Avalon but heralds in new beginnings…

shelagh

While Shelagh’s Fontana Beauty loves being in the garden, and welcomes the dusting of petals landing on her gorgeous hair. Its Pouie time!

Mace's girl

Mace’s girl is painted with such confidence and strong strokes of color! She is dancing on the page with passion!

Mace's young lady

And then there’s Mace’s Young Lady – what feeling and elegance! Beautiful brush work. Exciting colors. True artistry.

group

The group as a whole: I missed  two or three close-ups of work, but here they all are in their glory.

We all had fun, made new friends, enjoyed being with old ones in new ways, learned and laughed together, and deepened our appreciation for the playfulness and depths of art.

Many thanks to Nikki Delisser for her ever-giving hospitality and kindness and for sharing her beautiful home with us with such love! Namaste.

buddha