Sunday, 5 June 2011

Inspiration From Life

Inspiration From Life

Peony painted during my "Summer Flowers in Watercolour "  Workshop
As a demonstration this week.

I am often asked questions  during a workshop  session. These  queries are invaluable to me as an artist as they make me think about how I approach certain subjects or add textures and why. This week I hosted my annual " Summer Flowers in Watercolour " Workshop and the room was filled with wonderful blossoms to tempt artists attending.  Amongst the vases and arrangements of flowers were some beautiful peony that really were absolutely stunning in both form,delicacy and colour.

" How would you paint the centre of these ?" Lynne asked. 
 (Thank you Lynne as I have some wonderful paintings now thanks to your query! )

There were many ways to approach the gorgeous complex focal point  of the  flower but as I avoid using any products other than watercolour I started with tiny yellow and orange brushstrokes. Dropping in water now and then to form texture minus the use of salt or even masking fluid which is commonly used on subjects like this. I am beginning to look at many artists who work in  "watercolour" and realise they actually don't in the true sense of the medium as they depend on so many other materials to achieve finished paintings. From years of exploring watercolour as a medium I have found I can achieve absolutely any effect I wish to just by working with pigment and water. And it is so much fun!

There is no right way or wrong way to paint but when it comes to saying whether you are a watercolourist or not I think it depends on whether you work in watercolour traditionally or with other mediums. I still for example don't accept that acrylic is watercolour. If it was it wouldn't need to be called arcylic!

We all had so much fun this week working only in watercolour.The results in the room from such a magical medium were incredible. I know in my heart I would never feel the same excitement or thrill  of watching colours merge when faced with other products. The room behind me was silent when I painted this peony. The petals emerged like magic on paper with a softness that reminded me of my time in China. My Shanghainese mentor was stronglyl influencing my placement of brushmarks as I worked. I am so grateful to have had such expertise looking over my shoulder for so long as they gave me so much. Now I want to give the tips I was given to others.

I cannot wait for my Autumn Workshops which take place later this year. For now my next demonstration will be at the SWA Society  For Women Artists 150th Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries on  Thursday, 7th July.Everyone is welcome, you don't need a ticket to see me other than paying the gallery entrance fee. I really am looking forward to meeting old friends and new so please say Hello if you visit. I intend to make the day fantastic with  the sharing of as many subjects as I can fit into one day!

 The beautiful peony that inspired a lovely gentle painting .

Tip: Paint from life as much as possible as  this is the best way to see  true colour and light effects. It also teaches you far more than simply  "copying  " from a photograph!

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