Saturday, January 30, 2010

back and forward

(2x3 ATC)
It's hard to believe I've been back from our trip to the British Virgin Islands for nearly a month. I've hardly had any time to paint, catching up on work I left unfinished and then spending several days in the hospital (nothing serious) and having to catch up again. I checked in to the hospital exactly one month after turning 50: I'm falling apart right on schedule.
Anyway, we had a great trip: lots of sailing and snorkeling, eating and drinking.
On our first full day out I got stung in the face by a jellyfish! I had huge red welts and my lips swelled to twice their size; it took a few hours and many applications of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, but I started to look normal by dinnertime.
I'm sorry to report that the ATC above is the only painting I did on the trip, and that quickly when my shipmates, Peter, Dave and Jan, went off snorkeling (they came right back because the current was too strong): there wasn't much room in the cockpit for painting, and somehow I just never made the time.
When we go back in April, with Mike and Lisa, we'll be chartering a catamaran, which has a much more spacious cockpit, so I hope to paint then. In the meantime I have my photos ...

...And my plan to start preparing for the Charles Reid workshop I'll be taking with my friend Shelby in September. I've pulled out all my CR books--I have six--to leaf through. Since I seem to have been having a hard time getting back to a regular schedule of painting, I'm going to try to work my way back by doing contour drawings: Reid really emphasizes them and I like the possibility of getting something surprising.
The painting below is based on an exercise on p. 46 of Painting What You Want to See. A contour drawing of a simple still life that was supposed to be painted in flat poster-like washes; I didn't really manage that, but since I think the point was just to get comfortable using strong color without fussing, I'm satisfied with it.

(8x11 Kilimanjaro)

There's a beautiful snow-globe-like snow falling, and accumulating. I look forward to being snowed in, making soup and painting.
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Nancy Van Blaricom said...

The jelly fish sting sounds awful. Nice to know that the hand sanitizer was all you needed to take the swelling down.

Your ATC is lovely ... beautiful island colors.

Anxious to hear all about the Charles Reid workshop.. sounds fun. After reading his books I'm a true believer that contour drawing is the answer.

Anonymous said...

So glad you are back in the blogoshpere. I don't have any Charles Reid books but you have wetted my appetite to check them out. Always like to try something new. Love your ATC. Hope everything is back to normal for you. Look forward to more watercolors.

Charlene Brown said...

The enlargement of "the only painting" you did on your trip is absolutely lovely - hard to believe it's trading card size! Looking forward to hearing more about the Charles Reid workshop, and the impressive preparation you're planning.

shicat said...

Hi Laura, thank you for your kind thoughts. Welcome back, of course you were missed. Glad your out of the hospital.

I just bought a Charles Reid book, I believe his latest though the title escapes me. Anyway I found the orange in your CR exercise beautiful, the colors, you always manage the perfect mix of paint and water. Glad your home and glad your blogging again. Peace to you and enjoy the snow.

AutumnLeaves said...

Gosh, Laura. I just absolutely love your watercolors! You achieve exactly a look I want to get and never manage. I think I'm too heavy handed or something. I know what you mean about falling apart (me too). It sounds as though you are 5.5 or 6 mos. younger than me. Gah!

RHCarpenter said...

I like both of these paintings. I'm sorry about the jellyfish sting - ouch!!! And on the face, too :( I, too, take my paints with me on trips and rarely paint. But that's the beauty of the camera and all the reference photos you can take so quickly and easily for painting back home. I do hope the "falling apart" comes much slower even though you've hit the 50 mark, and that you stay healthy and happy for a long long time.

artslice said...

Yipes, the jelly fish sting does sound terrible! It's hard to find time to paint on vacation... I've tried it myself. Your idea of contour drawings sound like a great way to start things moving. It's been a long time since I did any... think I'll do it today :)

A Brush with Color said...

OMG, these are beautiful, Laura! So sorry to hear about your jelly fish incident! That's something I've always been scared of, and I'll bet that hurt like hell! Glad to hear you're ok. I love your paintings, and I'm jealous as all get out of the Charles Reid class--sounds awesome--can't wait to hear what you learn. I have several of his books and videos and love his work. Good to see you back!

Barbara M. said...

Oh boy these are gorgeous. I hope you are okay? Who says things are supposed to fall apart at 50? Don't listen to those people.

I know some very, very old people who have not fallen apart. So when you feel better, don't worry you will be super fine.

Take care,


deborahspalette said...

Your paintings art beautiful, Very well done. So much art and such a small canvas. Love it!
stop by for a visit to my blog at
Many Blessing, Deborah

kanishk said...

After reading his books I'm a true believer that contour drawing is the answer.

Work from home India


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