Daily Art While Away

In an earlier post I mentioned I would be taking my art journaling materials as well as my watercolor painting stuff along with me on vacation.  I have to be honest here, I did little art journaling.

I find I use a lot of wet stuff when I art journal:  modeling paste, acrylic paint, mediums, inks, water-soluble media, etc.  All these things require a hairdryer or heat gun to dry.  I found it to be to much of a hassle to try to do my art journaling thing while away from all my handy dandy tools.  Watercolor painting is where I spent my art time.

This was very liberating.  I was able to really work on my techniques and realized I prefer loose watercolor paintings over more detailed ones.  The flower paintings I did were my favorites, just very loose and unstructured.  I began by wetting the entire paper and dropping in color in splotches.  Greens and whatever color the flowers would be.  After the background dried, I would paint in five to seven flowers with leaves.  Keeping them off-center and natural looking.  The cabbage roses were pinks and oranges, the clematis in purples and the day lilies in pinks and yellows.

The lake pictures were more detailed.  I painted the gentleman next door fishing from the dock, which I gave to him.  I painted pontoon boats, trees and beaches, underwater weeds and fish, reflected trees and shrubs off the lake, cottages, kids swimming, fishermen trolling near shore, my dad reading the paper at the picnic table, my mom working her crossword puzzle…

I also spent a lot of time sketching.  I don’t do a lot of sketching or drawing.  I use my paintbrush as my pencil and sketch that way.  But I took this opportunity to sketch whatever took my fancy.  I sketched an abstract tree, the dogs, small objects around the cottage, everyday items.  I sketched people, places and things.  I nearly filled a sketchbook.

Everything was so relaxed and peaceful there.  I felt no pressure to create anything, I just did whatever I felt like doing.  Not even really noticing the specifics.  I just lazed around and did art however and whenever I wanted.  I found early mornings to be the most productive for me.  I felt inspired by the stillness of the lake before the world around it began to stir…The quietness broken by the call of the loons, the tat-tat-tat of a redheaded woodpecker in the tree beside me, or the hum of the rapidly moving wings of a hummingbird.

As the sun burned off the mist above the lake, I would strive to capture the reflection of the trees on the glass smooth surface.  Later, the lake would awaken and there would be ripples and movement upon the surface.  The reflections wavy and altered rather than the earlier reflections which were mirror perfect.

The beauty of the lake and it’s surroundings subtly changed throughout the day, each difference lovely and picture worthy.  Finally, as the sun set the fiery red and orange sky blazing across the once again still lake, the day was tucked in for the night.  The lake rested and slept beneath the starry night sky.  The peaceful sounds of tree frogs, the occasional splash from a jumping fish, the quiet lap of the water upon the sandy beach.

And all slept soundly in the stillness of the night.

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