Front Yard…Still

Another image from my front yard.  I painted a little series of 4″ x 6″ watercolors from one vantage point in my front yard, facing out towards the street.  My previous post is one, here’s another, and my next post will be the third.  This very same day, I had actually spent the morning OUT OF MY YARD, painting a view up the hill near Mr. Whicker’s farm.

To be sure, it was lovely to sit in the shade, and respond with pastels to what I was seeing.  But somehow, the result was less than…  Less than what?  Less than pleasing? No, it’s an ok painting (i’ll show you soon!).  Less than what I was after?  Well, yes, in some ways, no in others.  Less than what?  There’s something about pastel itself that leaves me less than perfectly satisfied.  It’s hard to articulate my malaise:  is it the over-the-top intense colors that I don’t feel I can quite wrangle into a pleasing melange?  Is it their dusty nature, less painterly, less fluid, and therefore more stiff in their presentation?  Is it the fact that, unlike watercolor, they do not have a life of their own?–where you put them, is where they sit…unless you push, swipe, smudge, erase, etc.  They do not oozle or wazzle, they do not run, spatter, granulate, or vary in shade with just one swipe.  Not wanting to let the pastel malaise dampen my enthusiasm for painting outdoors, I came home, repacked the outdoor equipment (which required less stuff!) and only ventured to my front yard for a watercolor foray.

Aside from needing to spritz my palette with water every now and then to keep them from drying too much, I really enjoyed working with my watercolors outdoors.  Yes, I have painted with watercolor outside before, always small.  One has to work quickly to take advantage of the oozling and wazzling time period.  These little paintings also have a sense of atmosphere about them I like.  I don’t know that I’m quite capturing that atmosphere in the pastels.  I know I can learn to do it.  But I wonder if I even need to when I’m so captivated by the nature of watercolor.  ??

Cropped and uncropped images for you here…goodness sakes you are a bunch of no-croppers!:)  The thing I DO like about the cropped image is how the color covers nearly all the space, and places the emphasis on say, the trunk of the tree, rather than on it’s canopy.  Once again, for me, I’m not sure which I prefer.  Thanks for all your comments though!

0 thoughts on “Front Yard…Still

  1. ellen says:

    On this one, I like the way the paint “splotches” are in the “maybe-to-be cropped area”. Reminds me of a great pair of jeans I had in the 80’s…..
    So lovely, Jennifer.

  2. Deborah says:

    I’m partial to the non-cropped version, because I think the cropped version looks sort of cramped up in that space … know what I mean. In the version with the white border it just looks “right” somehow…free…to oozle and wazzle! I like that! I think … only my opinion… but I think watercolors are the way to go! I always go back to them, because I love the oozling and wazzling, and I like that you’ve created words for that. Watercolors are just my all-time favorite medium – but I always like to mix them with something that draws a nice line. Colored pencil, pen, marker… Your watercolors are just stunning, captivating, and I can’t imagine how you would get all the splashing, life, and color that is YOU in pastel…and why try when there is watercolor… Happy splashing!

  3. Timaree (freebird) says:

    Well you know you can use the pastels and you know you’ll get better with practice. But, if you love the flow (oozling and wazzling) of watercolors and enjoy using them then use them. You aren’t using them because you are afraid to try pastels but because you like them. There is a whole lot of difference there. And you can add some pastel anytime you want to.

  4. Cathy says:

    I like the cropped version the most, it will be interesting to see the pastel you weren’t happy with. I like to try all types of media and maybe mix them up when I can, pastels are not easy and I admire all those artists that make beautiful artwork with them…but them watercolours aren’t easy either. I think it all depends on your character and how you enjoy making art. Happy oozling and wazzling!

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