Magic Moments-Thoughts on watercolour

I spent the afternoon matting and framing some work for a couple of local shows. This is not my favorite activity! I’d much rather be sketching or painting or just outside walking or gardening. I cut my own mats but have to buy frames so i frequently recycle them.

Here is a half sheet painting of the river from last year that had to give up its frame to make room for new work.

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West Branch-Looking down river

Thoughts on Watercolour

A self portrait

While its transparency allows layers of veiled meaning, it is mercurial and hard to control. Extremely sensitive to atmosphere and weather, watercolour is temperamental being easily blotted out, stained by tears, or even washed away. And yet it is responsive and fluid, and can be even, on occasion, dry and precise.

Colours can be bright as jewels shimmering with reflected light or muddy as a turbid river in turmoil of dark despair. At times the colours present in shapes with edges hard as rock and at others with edges so soft as to fade away to nothing.

Watercolour doesn’t lie or hide its meaning. It can’t. Each brush stroke and flood of water is revealed as it carries pigment across the paper. And, when the brushstrokes become free to dance, it sings with ecstasy and confidence. Given more deliberate control it becomes amazingly precise conveying detail and form. But when confidence is lost the overworking of a surface says it all. Meaning, form, and line are buried in mud.

There is freshness in a confidently painted watercolour that becomes memorable. This doesn’t mean that thoughtful editing and reworking won’t ever be in order. Sometimes that is needed and helps. Only that the more directly the work springs from the heart the more effective it will be.

And We; we are watercolour within, waiting only for the Muse that can help the brush to dance with joy and confidence lifting our song on unfurled wings across the empty page.

Angel in the dust