World Watercolor Month: Final Week + 2

Time flies when there is fun to be had, and July has done just that.

Under a darkening sky that seems to want to paint the yard in its own version of watercolor, Charlie’s challenge of painting a watercolor a day to celebrate the First Annual World Watercolor Month comes to a close.

Of  course that doesn’t mean painting and creating daily comes to a halt, maybe just not on 11″ x 15″ sheets of watercolor paper. A return to the sketchbook for a daily routine while a more slower pace with anything larger in size seems to be in order.

It has been a delightful month, and I am both inspired and left in awe of those around the world as well as in our blogging community who came together to share their love of watercolors on a daily basis.  My souvenir from this wonderful adventure is a neat pile of 31 quarter sheets holding painting ideas, experiments, and many things I want to  improve upon. The last group to be added to July’s works are from this past week and 2 days. Influenced by passing storms, and playing with fanciful notions, these final sketches in watercolor will remind me of options on approach with backgrounds and maybe a couple of thematic ideas.

The rain is falling, creating little puddles of reflected color in the yard. It makes me think of the puddles of paint in my palette that need to be cleaned up and the brushes waiting to be rinsed and put aside to dry, …until the next adventure in watercolor.

Inspiration Freshly Picked

Morning arrived gray, low clouds hung so heavy with moisture it felt like sitting in a bamboo steamer, minus the tasty dumplings. Thank goodness our trade winds linger, a little shy at times, but always welcomed with grateful sighs of relief.

Last night the rain, envoys from a storm to our south, paid us a visit. Our white plumeria tree must have played host, so many of its blossoms now carpet the ground at its base like abandoned party favors from the late night revelers.

Our summer seems to be winding down in its own subtle way, so it was a pleasant surprise to find a bag of these late bloomers, a gift from a friend’s yard, hanging on my kitchen door.

Freshly picked

Mangoes are the sweetness of summer sunshine wrapped in rainbow hues of blended colors. I carefully pull each rounded fruit from the bag, taking in their scent and turning them gently round and round in my hands, admiring the way the colors dance and blend. The sight of a ripening mango always sings to me of watercolors and it is a challenge not to drop everything, load up the brush, and start painting immediately. I want to memorize the way the colors mingle so subtly from cool greens to vibrant yellow. But these beauties are ripe and smell good enough to eat on the spot.

Playing around with set upThe solution is a few quick set ups taking photos for reference …

A loose sketcha couple of loose sketches, and then back to the kitchen.

As I peel and slice my way through memories of summers past, I cannot help but stare for a moment at my hands, now covered with mango juice…what is that color? Gamboge? Maybe a mix of Orange Lake and Hansa Yellow or even Aureolin? I sift through the discarded peels … Is that a hint of Quinacridone Gold next to Rose Lake? And what a lovely purple, maybe a mix of Ultramarine Blue and Permanent Magenta or even Alizarin Crimson? Alright, this is becoming distracting, time to paint.

Exploring

Exploring

My creative journeys are not always planned and unless there is some sort of deadline involved there is always room to indulge in my penchant for meandering. Case in point, I had been continuing my explorations of waterfalls and simple still-lifes with collage, but now with the arrival of freshly picked inspiration I am excited to wander off the paper trail, maybe explore different styles while playing in pools of color. I will probably linger here for a bit and enjoy the remains of summer, at least until I feel the urge to meander once again.

Remembering summer

Remembering summer