This week I finished off another roll of B/W film (Illford Delta Pro 400) in my Rolleiflex TLR. I had fun shooting using some new filters I got last week at a camera show. The birdhouse in the tree of my front yard was a good subject for trying out the yellow filter. I got several good negatives that I scanned at a high resolution which I then printed on hot pressed watercolor paper. The blue was tinted after printing where as the pink/yellow one was painted first and then printed. I haven’t decided if I want to spray them with fixative or not yet. Today was just a fun day to play for a few hours 🙂
Category Archives: watercolor
After weeks of a wonderfully mild summer, the heat slammed us yesterday with temperatures of 108 and high humidity. There was no option but to pack up, stop for picnic supplies and head to the beach.
When I was a little girl my dad would take us to Treasure Cove several times over the summer. The whole area is now Crystal Cove State Park, but in those days it was just a horse ranch on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean along the Orange County coast. My dad would wake us before daybreak announcing to all that it was a beach day and get ready: which meant put on your bathing suit, your Keds and get into the big green Buick. We’d arrive just as light was dawning where my dad would jump out and unlatch the gate into the ranch and drive in to a small parking area. Years later there was a bucket at the gate and he would deposit a dollar for the parking. Many times hands were out with the horses and would wave hello as we kicked up dust along the dirt road. The road is paved now, the ranch and horses gone. Yesterday it cost us $15 for day parking.
Getting down to the beach was a big ordeal which usually included tears. My dad would carry my little sister and brother while my other sister and I followed along behind him on the steep narrow trail. I don’t remember how my mother got down there. I was too scared to pay attention as to how she got down. My parents, and I, didn’t know then that because I only had vision in one eye, the climb down was treacherous as I couldn’t (and still can’t) judge depth perception. Most of my climb down was on my butt and in tears. Now there are stairs and handrails to guide us down.
Once on the beach my dad would prepare us a feast. He’d hand us a warm tortilla filled with eggs, beans and chorizo while my mother poured us milk or juice. Once our bellies were full and we’d warmed up, off came our sweaters and Keds and into the ocean we ran. I remember only coming out for lunch or to explore the tide pools at low tide. This was OUR special beach and when we’d run into family friends there I always felt as they had come to visit us at the beach. It didn’t occur to me that they might be there just to enjoy the beach for themselves!
Our last family outings there were in my teen years where it became more important to be wearing the cutest bikini and eyeing the cute boys on the beach. In those days I would set my towel far away from my family and turn up my transistor radio to the most popular station on the AM dial. It was a pink radio…so cute.
Yesterday Rudy and I went down for the evening. We splashed in the surf and walked along the beach. We watched the sun go down while eating a luscious dessert of cheesecake with cherry topping. It is still my beach and I can still see my family there on the beach. I see my dad blowing up surf riders for us kids and my mom under her big hat and umbrella. I see my sister and I up on top the big rocks getting our sneakers soaked. I see the red coleman cooler box with our lunch and the little grill where my dad fixed our morning breakfast and evening hot dogs. And on the cliffs above I see the little girl I was; clinging to the rock cliff as she makes her way down. It was a beautiful evening.
What do you do with a green tomato? While picking the first of our beefsteak tomatoes, two unripe green ones also came off the vine. I’ve been observing and sketching them for a couple of days now. As much as I love my Canson spiral bound wc sketchbook I find that the paint does not mix as well on the paper as it does on my pallet; resulting in overworked sketches…ugh. The green one is on a scrap of Arches 140#cp and I had much better control of the paint on this paper.
Now, what to do with green tomatoes?
The first one seemed overworked to me so I did another one on heavier Kilimanjaro 300# cp watercolor paper. I like it better:)
My dear friend Dianne (Desireé) invited me to tag along with her to Long Beach this past weekend. She was going to be busy with a quilt show so I had lots of time to myself. On the way there we stopped in Laguna Beach for the Sawdust and Arts festivals where we sat at an outdoor booth to do a monoprint. I had a wonderful weekend and am blessed to have such a good friend. Thanks again for dragging me along!
Yesterday evening the light outside reminded me so much of a summer evening I spent in Sorrento, Italy five years ago. That day my friend Stephanie and I had hired a small boat to take us out into the Mediterranean Sea where we swam and sunned all day. He even took us to Positano and dropped us off promising to return an hour later for us. He did. At the end of our sea adventure we both got kissed by the handsome Italian fisherman! That evening we wandered the streets in Sorrento enjoying a street festival…….all under an Italian sun.
My creative soul ebbs and flows in no particular fashion. I might spend months exploring a new medium or just hours. I will let a passion sleep while a new one awakens in me. So goes it now. I’ve cleared out the sewing nook and filled it with my watercolors and papers. Happily I find myself re-discovering the fluid properties of watercolor on paper and pallet.
Along the way it’s little things that inspire me to move in new directions. It might be something I see or read about. It could be the colors I see on a pineapple sitting on my countertop. How do I make the colors sing like that on paper? Traveling always inspires me. I am constantly hoping to capture the essence of what I see with a camera or paintbrush.
I saw a post last week about Cathy Johnson’s new book Artist’s Journal Workshop being available as an e book. I wasn’t sure about an art book read on the computer but I was delighted to find that I could read it easily and see all the beautiful images included. Along with my current explorations into watercolor and the desire to put some of Cathy’s ideas into action, I made a new watercolor sketchbook filled with 140# cp Kilimanjaro paper from Cheap Joe’s art supply and Ingres antique camel brown paper.
This first entry into the artist journal is my ‘get over the first page’ jitters sketch. I picked a loved and familiar subject and gathered my art supplies to sit under it’s shade while I played this morning. Enjoying the journey!