Imagined, Interpreted, Abstracted
The natural landscape provides endless inspiration for the watercolour painter. Ever changing, ephemeral light, colours, shapes, forms, awe and mystery. To a certain extent, painting in watercolour is much the same, ever-changing light and colours as the pigments mix and move on the paper, the effects of water and the simple wonder of what materializes.
Over the years, I’ve chosen to embrace the unpredictable, to let the pigment, water and paper to do what is their nature to do. I guess, in a way I have become more a manager of the process as opposed to controlling the process. The end results are always surprising, hopefully exciting, usually a mystery, and, like nature itself, inspiring.
I seldom know where a painting will end up but it always starts with a new piece of paper, fresh dabs of tube paint, clean water, a brush or two, my trusty cut-up credit cards, and hope.
I took up watercolours about 15 years ago for something fun to do in retirement. How hard can it be? I took every course I could find at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, some of them twice. Every instructor I encountered did their absolute best to teach me about transparency, layering, washes and other intricacies of the form. I have concluded, as you might have guessed, that it is hard. Very exciting to be sure, mostly great fun, rewarding, but hard. And I am hooked.