Busy Monday – kittens and watercolor

Today was the day the two kittens (now six months old) went to the vets to be neutered. Got there messy and stinky, even though I tried as best I could to clean up the carrier using some paper towels I had and the doggie clean up bags outside the office… Anyway, lots of paperwork and then I was off.

Drove the same road I went down the other day and took a few more reference photos of the hills and barns that I like there. The brush and grass was covered with a light coat of ice so things were quite sparkly.

Cruising For Clouds 29 Jan 2018//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Then I got a bagel and coffee and headed to Hand Hollow. What the heck – it was 42F so I sat at a picnic table and painted awhile. Gotta say that ice covered pond still eludes me. It’s openings are dark – no – filled with color, yes but dark, grey areas – no white. And of course like water the colors change with the light. Ack.

watercolors //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Oh well, painting that didn’t quite work is better than no painting at all, right? Learning through failing. Got it. Mainly I get that I need to re-find my darks – which I had, but they seem to have vanished. Also wishing i had a palette with bigger mixing areas. Hard to mix up enough on the tiny watercolor box. Hmmmm.

The kittens came home around 3 pm and were wobbly and funny and no way were they going to “be quiet”. Now we’re all ready for some sleep.

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Underpainting

Sometimes I just really need to paint. I knew that was true this morning when I heard the price of something and my brain did a painterly conversion: that would be ten blocks of watercolor paper. What would give more pleasure, for longer? Puts everything into perspective, doesn’t it?

Anyway this needs to really dry before doing the dark distant trees etc.

the inspiration:

Tuesday – Wellington it is!

Went into Wellington to view some art – ending with the Splash 2017 watercolor exhibit and an accompanying exhibit of ceramic pieces. Very inspiring. Here are some of the photos from today, click on the photo for more

IMG_3691//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Kitten/Cat Impressions

  • It’s impressive how much space two little kittens take up in a bed and how soundly they sleep. They got more sleep than I did but I did get some.
  • It’s also quite impressive how they can do things that seemingly defy the laws of physics (someone I know had a cat he insisted could pass through solid walls) and yet they seem to work like normal other times.
  • I was clearly delusional that I might be able to contain them for a night, a day, a couple of days in the bathroom. They were up and over that barrier in no time at all and up onto the bed in short order. They can also manage stairs up and down.
  • They ate an impressive amount of food last night and I didn’t put a lot more down for them this morning. I do know the ways of cats enough to know that they’ll keep eating past the point of being ridiculously sick and with a new type of food that would be impressive.
  • I was also quite impressed with how invisible Molly became last night after really encountering one of the free-ranging kittens. She’d come out to be with me (silent – not a peep from her) while I unboxed my new pens) but I couldn’t find her this morning. I’m sure she’ll come looking for me when I return home tonight.

Labor Day Time Spent

I did run the vacuum a little today but I also dabbled here and there and finally headed out to the local pond to catch some light before the moon came up. First tonight’s sketch – not at all intended to be complete. I’m trying to get myself to work on putting down quick colors and values to help remember what the scene was like.

This from yesterday, earlier in the day.

I gotta say that I love my little fold-up chair but you gotta really love a picnic table when you’re setting up for a quick paint. And for September 4, Labor Day 2017, a lot of color starting to show on the trees and below, all that goldenrod.

Sunday out and around here and there

I went and procured tomatoes. Real ripe tomatoes. I needed a tomato sandwich and I needed it bad. I had a peach for dessert.

Diddled around at home for awhile and then went out late to the nearby pond and enjoyed the late day sun changing into evening. Painted a little just trying to capture something of the color and light. Took photos. Came home.

All in all a successful day. See the Flickr album for all the sights!

27 August 2017//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Now I just need to write out the two postcards for the weekend – how fast August has gone! August Postcard Poetry Fest has been very good both in the writing and in the cards received. Yesterday I got four cards – WOOT – and one of them had been “commented” on by someone in transit, presumably a postal worker. We often imagine people reading them as they move from poet to poet but someone sure read that one!

Photos as Reference

Long time readers may attest that I take a fair number of photos. It’s true. Not all the photos are great – some are taken to capture a bit of light or something interesting or just as an aid to memory. Lately I’ve been taking more photos as reference.

I was thinking about this as I watched a youtube watercolorist show how he auditions and “edits” photos. He prints them out and doesn’t worry about sharpness or perfect lighting. Obviously there was something about the scene that grabbed his eye but it doesn’t mean it is a composition worth painting. He uses a really soft pencil and a white pencil to move trees around, add some shadows, establish where the light is coming from, all the while considering how the eye will move in and around the image. (If you like his video, watch this one next for some amazing cloud wet in wet painting)

When he was done, the view was indeed more interesting to look at and still bore a strong resemblance to the original photo but it wasn’t the same.

All this is a way around to saying these two groups of photos aren’t the best I’ve taken but they were taken to show the scene. The sheep photos have some really dark ones because I wanted to show the clouds. The sunset photos aren’t very crisp because I only had a few minutes before it was too dark to shoot and I didn’t have time to set up a tripod so I was bracing against things. But, I hope the ideas will be useful.

Local Sheep, Landscape and Clouds//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

sunset 16 August 2017//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js