Wednesday, October 7, 2009

SHADES AND VALUES

We fired up our wood stove Sunday. DH had cleaned it and tuned it up. It was cold enough to test the wood that had been split and stashed for the winter. I contributed to the starting of the fire by donating two sheets of 100% cotton watercolor paper. On the paper were painting disasters. They burned great.

I was working on what is called aerial perspective. That is, far away objects appear lighter in color. If I started too dark on the most distant areas I would run out of shades coming forward.

This is my third attempt at capturing the feeling of an afternoon ride on a ferry in Puget Sound.
I tried to use a little of what I learned a long time ago when I studied Oriental Watercolor for a very short time with two Chinese teachers. The art is very disciplined and requires great skill. Like haiku poetry it involves simplicity. The challenge is to use the fewest possible lines and tones with useless detail eliminated. The painting is mostly monochromatic and a good artist can create many shades of gray.

My painting has a long way to go to match the beautiful ancient art form of Sumi-e, but it was good to be reminded that things in the distance can be brighter than you imagine and usually even the darkest places have areas of light.

And to answer the question, "Do I display my art in shows?"  The answer is, no.  I've had my art in galleries, but the demands are too great.  There is little money to be made and too many people to please.  I don't even belong to the local art guild because it would soon involve committee meetings and paperwork.  My art is something I do for fun.

15 comments:

Bill S. said...

Your pictures are awesome. Where can I see some up close?
Thanks.

DayPhoto said...

And you do an amazing job! Thanks for answering my question.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

Elizabeth said...

What a beautiful water color!
So subtle and lovely.

ELIZABETH said...

We've had the pleasure of smelling a wood burning fire while out walking. Someone in the neighbourhood has theirs up and running.

I think doing for the joy of it makes better art.

I love the piece on this post. Made me think back to a walk on the beach last summer in BC

Linda Sue said...

BEAUTIFUL! and of such a gorgeous place! I think you nailed it , sister!
I tried Sumi-e for about a month, also Chinese caligraphy ,where the energy of the earth that travels up through you and out to the tip of the brush is true, exact and just enough never too much, where the energy backs back out of the brush and returns to the earth- I failed on all levels.The pure energy of the earth traveled as far as my ankle I think - fussy clutter took over, as usual...any pure energy got muddied and wacked out.
I so admire your work, Dear Neener! Love that you art for pleasure and learning- as it should be...

Janie said...

I think your art is beautiful. I love all the shading for distance in this one.

Yolanda said...

The painting is awesome.

kendalee said...

I've never been to Puget Sound but this is beautifully evocative of somewhere very picturesque and peaceful. I love the restrained palette!

Your painting is incredible and I love that you do it purely for the pleasure of it. What better reason?

Elizabeth said...

Did the book ever arrive?
I sent it over a week ago.
Reply to elizabetwix@hotmail.com

Linda Sue said...

What colours do you like best? I can make something for you either a cushion or pin cushion easy as pie and quick as a *snap- let me know what you like best!! If you don't let me know you may be sent something really terrible- colours that do not resonate with you- like bubble gum pink!! send email with your postal address as well PLEASE!!!Are you in California??

Woman in a Window said...

Holy crap, Leenie! You are good! Very very good!

The woodstove's cranking here as well. Brrrrr...it's cold in dem dare hills!
xo
erin

Anairam said...

This is a beautiful watercolour, Leenie - very atmospheric. I like the mistiness of it. Hmm, I also like that you paint for fun, for yourself, because I have seen how artists can be tempted to do what they think will sell - and how detrimental that can be to their art.

jeanie said...

Just heating up nicely here for Summer as you test your kindling and stove.

Lovely picture.

Pam said...

I think if I lost my sense of smell, and was told I could have it back temporarily to experience something briefly, woodsmoke in autumn would be my choice, without a doubt.Lovely painting Leenie.

Michelle said...

I really love this painting. Goodness; it's been so long -- TOO long -- since I've done watercolor! I haven't done a single painting in any medium since my son was born nearly eight years ago. Sometimes I despair that I will ever again be in a place where I can create....