2021 July

dried blue hydrangea flowers
Dried blue hydrangea flowers shot with a macro lens.

I’ve taken a break from Flickr for a couple of weeks this month, mainly because Mike’s back is bad and I need to take over a lot of the lifting, bending etc. There just isn’t the energy to do it all. But the odd moments I have managed to carve out of the housework have been devoted to my much neglected watercolour project! And I’ve managed to a little almost every day … keeping my new ‘habit’ of touching base at least! So I decided to give over most of the July Journal to my painting.
I use the ‘dining room’ as an art room – always have, as it houses the big paper storage unit and the large draughtsman’s table that I use(d) for pastel painting. But until recently I have felt the watercolour painting space to be cramped and inhospitable. I finally sat down and looked at it, and pondered how it could be improved. The biggest problem is the light, closely followed by lack of table space.
So I reversed the table so I sit close to the only window. That single move has made a massive difference! Then I have added a second fold-out table behind, for extra lights, paintbrush holders etc. Mike found me a small portable easel to allow the right gentle angle for the paper … and I am in business! It is such a transformation – I actively want to be in the room, where before I had to reluctantly drag myself in!

my art room 1
Looking from the living room into my art room space
work surface from above
My working surface seen from above. A friendly clutter!
my painting pin board
The draughtsman’s board used as a pin board for bits and bobs.

I have moveable lamps to add to the lighting, as well as some light from the front room, through the archway between the rooms. The room is also full of my patstel paints, with pastel works on the walls …. and then there are my photography prop stores ….. so there’s not a spare inch of surface anywhere!
I’m having fun, and learning a whole lot about watercolour painting. The more I expore, the more I understand why it is considered the hardest and most demanding of paint media! There is no room for changing your mind, or correcting a mistake – once the paint mark is made, it is final! No scraping back, no rethinking …. you are committed!
There are so many books on watercolour painting, it can be overhwelming. Where to begin?
The first small book I found, decades ago, is by Ettori Maiotti. I described his own journey which was formed around the study of watercolour artists who had inspired him. So I have formed my own journey around my greatest inspiration – Paul Cezanne. More than any other artists, he is the one who ‘sings’ to me with his watercolours!