Friday, November 9, 2012


Often in the process of creating a watercolor painting the artist does what is called, “laying down a wash.” 

 “For Brian” 13x19 in.

This means covering a large area of paper, as in a sky or section of still water, with a pigment-water solution.  Once a wash has begun it must be completed without a pause so there will be a consistent layer of color. 

During this time I won’t stop to answer phones, questions or do anything else unless there is an obvious emergency.  I even hesitate when there is a family crisis such as difficulty breathing or bleeding if I’m working on a big area that must be done all in one passage.  Timing is everything in a lot of watercolor painting.

Waiting can also be important.  In instances where I want to put one color over another or right next to another the first color must be dry.  Some artists use a hair dryer to speed things up.

Detail of “Swan Valley Farm” 8x10 in.

But this often prevents the heavier particles of pigment from settling into the texture of the paper which causes a wonderful variety of color. (More of my paintings for sale on my Etsy Site)

I use the waiting time to work on other things, or, procrastinate.  It’s also an excuse to gaze out the window.  I keep my camera handy to record interesting items such as...

melting squirrels,...

tipsy squirrels...

 and also the coming and going of neighborhood feathered friends.

All the migrating birds have pretty much left by November 
so those stopping by are hardy creatures looking for a meal.  
They are a great organic insecticide.

 The woodpeckers not only hammer out the bugs

 under the tree bark,

but also poke around in the lawn for grubs and other crawly things.

Sometimes crows and magpies come by.  
I get a kick out of how they stash their finds in their mouth. 

Magpies are a favorite of mine.  
We had several different pet magpies when I was growing up. 

They are clever characters.  Plus I like the contrast of their black and white coats... 

and the way sunlight shines through their wings.

Now I’ve frittered away enough time and have run out of excuses.  
So I’ll take a deep breath, hope for success and do my wash. 


Anonymous said...

You do such lovely work...and your photos are good as well. Magpies are beautiful birds. We don't have them here.

Buttons Thoughts said...

Oh I love Magpies I wish we had them. I love the way you put in your time just the way I do. Your painting is so worth the waiting and watching. Beautiful You have way more patience than I . I guess that is why you are the artist and I am the farmer:) B

Joanne Noragon said...

I'm so please to see your lovely magpie photos. My sister says her husband is a magpie; he picks up shiny things.

Anzu said...

Thank you for sharing autumnal flavors in your country. I love them.

Murr Brewster said...

I saw a squirrel stretched out that way for hours and hours this summer. I assumed it was dying. Later in the evening it was gone. I don't know if it recovered or got et. Thanks for the magpies. I love every member of their family but we don't get those particular cousins here.

laurak/ForestWalkArt :) said...

OH wOw, i LOVE your 'for brian' watercolor!!! it's awesome!!!!

i saw some watercolor artist on tv a couple of wks ago...using a hair dryer between colors...

looking out the window could be a little distracting...all those cute acrobatic squirrels, i just might head outside and start doing somersaults or climbing the trees. ha.

i wish we had those magpies here!! beautiful birds!! cool shots!!

happy saturday!

Brian King said...

Your paintings are beautiful! That's some awesome talent! I love that squirrel photo! It makes me laugh! Nice shots of the magpies, too!

Terry and Linda said...

Enjoyed all your pictures but I love the magpie the best!


Anonymous said...

The only thing I ever managed to do properly in school art classes was a wash!! As always I love your paintings .... and your squirrel photos!!

Pearl said...

Those magpies are just beautiful. We don't have those here...

Now the SQUIRRELS. Fat li'l buggers at this time of year, aren't they? :-)


BB said...

Those paintings... you are SO talented! Love them.