Cat in Watercolour
There has been something stirring in my soul for some time now. I have had a feeling that has been unable to contain. I knew I was crossing bridges with my own personal art journey but couldn't and still can't put my finger on what really is happening. All I do know is that ever since I wrote my latest book " Paint Yourself Calm" I haven't felt the same as an artist.
I am calmer when I work. My washes are more exciting. I cannot wait to paint each day and each simple exercise from " Paint Yourself Calm" reconfirms what I know about pigment and how it interacts on paper. I think I needed to slow down. I needed to go back to basics and remember the simplicity of clean fresh pigment hitting water and all the magic that it can produce when left to play at random.
I am so grateful for writing that book. It has changed my art completely.
Like every artist who wishes to grow I want more from my own work. But in all honesty with teaching workshops in UK and abroad , plus exhibitions and writing I haven't had very much time just for me. Time to quietly paint and think about what I want to achieve. I spend so much time helping other artists that I have fallen to the bottom of the list in my attention giving. These last few months especially have seen me encouraging others on their art journeys to take time out and think about what they want to achieve. I needed to take my own advise.
I know I can paint but I also know I can be far better.
This week I have been playing with small studies and experiments on painting cats. But in my head I saw something beautiful that just had to be tried on paper. A level of art that I knew I could reach but wasn't quite getting. In skill. This afternoon I achieved the cat painting that was in my mind. I am over the moon. The elusive result that I so wanted to achieve. I managed to achieve it.
I have always believed in allowing pigment to talk when working with it. I let colour tell me what it wants to do. And I love capturing light in watercolour. Today I combined my washes with my subject and really allowed them to interact. I am really happy with this result. It is how I have wanted to paint for a very long time. I am finally nearer to my goal of where I want to be as an artist. The change is exciting and frightening because I am now setting myself new goals.And I believe we all should. Otherwise we accept what we know and never change.
Below is a close up of the cats head.
I have deliberately used watermarks to create the face section.
Close up of the cats face in watercolour. The "once in a lifetime" perfect watermark exactly where it needed to be to create the ruff of fur around the cats neck.
I actually became very excited as soon as I started painting this cat. I played with colour in my warm up washes. As described in "Paint Yourself Calm". I liked what I saw had developed, so painted a cat wash immediately while the working colours were still fresh in my mind.
The first exciting wash is below.
First wash for my exciting pigment interaction cat.
I feel this is me, painting at my best, And I want to paint even more glowing paintings like this that are full of light and life.
Oh how I wish I had 48 hour days and so much more energy to paint right through them without taking a break.
This is exciting.
I recently fell in love with hummingbirds and for no reason started painting them non stop. I received several emails telling me that this was an exciting symbol of great change in my life. And friends have noticed my art is changing. I think the hummingbirds maybe were an omen. They feel " lucky".
We will see!