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!