Monday, 25 January 2010

More than Ordinary Watercolours.

It is amazing how one simple early morning walk can lead to a series of paintings on a whole new subject. I have been watching the countryside change as Spring nears. I love looking for the very first snowdrop which has been out for sometime now. And I love watching the very first catkins appear. They always remind me of lambs tails. Their colour in misty morning light is incredible if you take time to study them. But how do you paint them and make them seem a little bit more interesting than the early browns we so often see?


 First Catkins  in Early Morning Light.
N.B Notice the catkins that aren't even painted but are still magically there !

This painting was painted freely with no preliminary sketch and without the use of masking fluid.


I attempted painting this subject last year but  did not succeed in capturing the effect I wanted. Later in the year as they will become more attractive as they blossom. Then they will turn into soft fluffy catkins but at the moment they are tight long shapes that really hold hardly any interest to the artist. Or do they?


 Close up of light on the branch and catkin detail.

Everything I see fascinates me. I will study each shape with eager eyes looking for the light source. I will consider colour and imagine the wide variety of techniques I can use to bring everything to life on paper.

This year from writing my book and taking the time to absorb my own ideas I have looked at catkins again with fresh eyes. It is almost as if someone is removing a veil from my eyes. I can see not only what I want to paint but how I want the results to be unique. I am so excited at  where my journey in watercolour is leading me and thrilled to be able to share on this blog.

I carried a small twig home and painted from life. In this painting like no other before I feel an element of excitement in that I know exactly how to create drama in my next pieces. That feeling of something wonderful about to happen has hit my soul. I am awake, alive and the passion to create has never been stronger.

All from taking a few minutes to really look at one simple catkin!




Gorgeous  Negative Shape in the Background.
Chinese Brushwork plays a big part in this painting.  My time studying in China is really helping me progess as an artist with a slightly more unusual combination of styles.


Many of my paintings paint themselves. It really is true. From my washes and use of exciting colour combinations a form of magic takes over. Maybe I see differently, I don't know but I am so in love with life and watercolour.

And Spring isn't even fully here yet!

How wonderful to see as an artist.And how wonderful to live at this time when we can share our thoughts with the world via the internet.

We are really so very lucky!

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2 comments:

jane minter said...

these are fantastic jean ..love the close ups you've shown here beautiful touches of purples and turquoise ... the catkins look incredible wonderful here shades of green ..also love seeing the old mans beard in the sunshine .

Jean Haines ASWA said...

Hello Jane,thank you so much. I adored painting these!

I am fascinated by old mans beard too and keep carrying it home only to get distracted with other subjects!

There is so much that is exciting to paint at this time of year!