Watercolor Dreams

Experimenting with light and color, I sat on the overlook in Poggio alla Croce the other day and made this watercolor. I wanted to keep it simple. To leave white space between my colors. This has become my approach to life too. Space. White space between all the rest makes everything so much richer.

Poggio alla Croce, watercolor, 8 x 12

This morning I woke from a dream that puzzled me. Not unusual, most dreams puzzle me at first. These last two weeks I haven’t been writing them down as I usually do.

Muse Chincia has had me busy with other inspirations. Yesterday she flew off to Paris and on to a full schedule of others to inspire. Having her here was amazing. She gave me a fresh view of many things, too numerous to mention here.  I will be incorporating much of it in my posts!

After writing the dream, I pulled out a few symbols. This raised questions I hadn’t thought to ask. With the questions in mind, answers started accumulating. Among them the synthesis for some experimental pieces I began at home.

This watercolor is the foundation for a series of handmade paper collages. Each collage is created with white handmade papers of various textures. Gesso is applied and the image is created with pigmented inks, watercolor and pastel pencils.

I am working on the set of foundation images now.  When I return to Virginia, I will complete them.  Poggio alla Croce is the first.  Tomorrow I will post another.

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Watercolor Crayons ~ No so Serious, Pure Fun!

What a great way to loosen up and have fun painting! Watercolor crayons changed my attitude about being a watercolorist. No longer concerned with making the paint do what I want it to do, I am playing with paint, water, color, and shapes.

These small watercolors were experiments. I wanted to see what would happen if I wet the paper and drew with the watercolor crayons. The soft bleedy lines are how it looks to draw on wet paper. And when a puddle accumulated, the effect was even greater.

watercolor crayons
Three Sisters, watercolor, 5 x 7

The most important thing was that it freed me up from trying to be good and professional at watercolor! I had so much fun, I don’t care! And I was rewarded with a couple fun paintings! When I went to title this one, I suddenly recognized my old theme of Three Sisters.

watercolor crayons
Muse Chincia, 7 x 5, watercolor

This one got off to a slow start. I thought it looked to simple, until I laid in a couple strong color fields of bright yellow and the whole painting popped. Leaving the white paper show is a leap of faith for an artist who has worked in opaque mediums like oil and pastel.

watercolor crayons
Duomo in Siena, watercolor, 8 x 6

How to paint a complex cathedral, or any complicated structure, building, tree, city? In contrast to the sky, the Duomo in Siena is white.  I began by painting the sky shape.

When dry, I wet the white paper a little and drew the cathedral with a watercolor crayon in lavender. Lavender is a shadow color.  I didn’t try to make too many details, only prominent ones.

Then I blocked in a few of the larger shadow shapes with light Ultramarine Blue. I used a lime green watercolor crayon to draw in a few highlight colors. A day later, I added another layer of Cerulean Blue to the sky to make it a deeper color and to touch a few details into the spires of the cathedral.  A cerulean highlight on the circular window make the dark window appear lighter.