24 feet in eight parts, in progress

Painting with watercolour is one of my favourite things, always bringing me back to my earliest days of creating. In those days, and maybe still today, it is considered to be the medium of choice of naturalists, landscape artists and traditionalists. I was inspired to begin using it again after a visit to Portland where I visited PDX Contemporary to see Storm Tharp’s large, exquisite portrait paintings. While he used gouache and fabric dye, I thought that I could achieve something unique (and large!)with watercolour. I have previously posted photos of some the large scale work that followed.

More recently, my friend Amy paid me a studio visit when she was in town from London, England where she’s been living for six years. It is always such a pleasure to catch up with her on her art world findings. After taking photos of some of my new work in watercolour, we talked about it as a re-discovered art, in particular about the Tate Modern’s current exhibit ‘Watercolour’, showing until August 11, 2011. This show is an homage of sorts to the wide range of artists who have used the medium with as diverse results as the artists themselves. Again, more inspiring fodder!

In my most recent work, I have veered back to working on wood panel. While I have been painting on wood veneer regularly for a few years now, I have yet to experiment with watercolour on wood. Each panel is 3 feet by 2 feet, 2 inches deep, maple veneer surface and sold maple, finger jointed frames. The side and surface grains are beautiful and delicately inform the developing image. It is a slow work in progress, as I am also working on a 5′ x 5′ watercolour/graphite on Baltic Birch and more 5′ x 5′ watercolours on cold pressed 300 lb paper. This allows daily thoughts on how best to continue: how much wood grain to leave exposed, whether or not to add more colours to the palette, how much detailed drawing to incorporate in and around the paint and how separate or joined will each frame end up being. It takes time. And, I am enjoying having it up on the studio wall. It will, however, be completed in time for the home concert I am hosting here on Friday, May 6th with ‘Microcosmos’ string quartet. If you are in the Vancouver area, look me up and get a double fix of art and sumptuous music.

From the beginning, until now :::

Frames before being gessoed

The beginning of 24

As yet untitled piece, in progress

Portion...untitled presage


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