Cats of Sunday

Swoop of cat whiskers
All of a Sunday Morning
Waiting for breakfast

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Painting for Cheer in Mud Season

Here have some flowers. Patience matters is all I can say about this.

After thinking about the demos of sheep painting (and a different teacher’s reminder that people in paintings can start with a carrot shape) I gave these a try and as you can tell wasn’t quite patient enough in terms of adding background etc. Oh well, still ok with it.

and of course, from the quote box, a reminder to take the time to look:

Mystery is what happens to us when we allow life to evolve rather than having to make it happen all the time. It is the strange knock at the door, the sudden sight of an unceremoniously blooming flower, an afternoon in the yard, a day of riding the midtown bus. Just to see. Just to notice. Just to be there. — Joan Chittister

Today I took a side road, and frankly after all these years I should know better than to take a side road on a gloriously WARM February day – I was lucky to arrive home with wheels and axles intact – and yet for all the tricky driving I was glad to have views like this. Thank you, who ever took the time to put up a snow fence and a red one at that! Thank you.

Sheep, Dales, Watercolors

I think this bloke is from northern England so no doubt sheep are everywhere he looks, but his name is Wooley for pete’s sake! Sheep! Everywhere! (He probably sees a lot of these stone walls, in the Dales too.)

and this from the quote box:

The road to positivity is strewn with the abandoned vehicles of the faint-hearted. — Peter McWilliams

Poetry and Postcards and Watercolor

I work at my watercolor (not as often as I’d like) and I work at my poetry (this month very regularly indeed) and they often cross paths when I’m sending out postcards of poetry. These are the three postcards I made today. Sunny and Cold is the newest one, inspired by today’s bright blue sky and puffy clouds.

From the Quote Box – More Guidance

A man’s duty is to find out where the truth is, or if he cannot, at least to take the best possible human doctrine and the hardest to disprove, and to ride on this like a raft over the waters of life. — Plato

I spent part of this morning working on poems and then fetching sunflower seeds for the tiny but very hungry birdies. It was wonderfully pleasant to be out in the sun, temps in the forties and the sky so blue. Big puffy white clouds.

To divert myself from the world over the past few days I’ve watched quite a few instructional videos about watercolor. Last night I watched Frank Clark who walked through quite a few exercises, doing a landscape in one color, using simple shapes to suggest people, fruit and things like boats. He talked about sky, horizon lines and foregrounds. He uses goat hair brushes which are pretty strange but wonderful. Can’t argue with someone who can dash off a fair landscape in a few minutes (with hairdryer at hand) using 8 colors and three brushes.

I’m learning myself that most of the time things get done with bigger brushes so it doesn’t surprise me when I see these video guys using brushes that are 1 1/2 inches or bigger.

Anyway, I gathered up what I’d seen and sat down with the two latest paintings which were lacking proper foregrounds. I played around with my biggest brush a one inch wash and it did a pretty good job of being ragged and rough when dry. I played with holding the brushes by the far end and that just needs practice and repetition.

When those had grassy and melted areas here and there I slapped some blue and grey washes together and created a big bright blue sky with puffy white clouds sailing by. I didn’t let myself leave the foreground empty. That way I can start a new painting next time. No more dilly-dallying. Do the work. Keep making art. Do the work.

The artist and still today

In case you need to listen to a more inspirational voice today. I sure do.

The artist, however faithful to his personal vision of reality, becomes the last champion of the individual mind and sensibility against an intrusive society and an officious state… In pursuing his perceptions of reality, he must often sail against the currents of his time. This is not a popular role.  John F. Kennedy

From the Quote Box – Why Worry?

Worry is a useless mulling over of things we cannot change. — Peace Pilgrim