Rose, a work in progress, painted in my cottage garden
It is funny but I had almost forgotten. Years ago I had always dreamt of living in a cottage with roses climbing around the front door. Well, we lived in Hong Kong and Dubai for a long time so this never happened. And we never seemed to settle. As soon as we did another move came into play and our new home became our old home quite quickly, and often.
But now I am settled and I am living in a cottage and I do have roses climbing around our cottage door. One has rather large blooms which until now I haven't painted. But one day this summer I sat outside and caught its' beauty in a first wash. Then something happened and I couldn't complete the painting. It was put to one side with my good intentions of getting it out to finish it that never happened. Life got in the way. But happily I took the first wash out today and looked at it. With fresh eyes as you do when you have a break from something. It is lovely,glowing in colour and begging to be finished. As it happens the plant is blooming again with the last rose of Summer. So I can use a real flower to work from to finish the piece.
Whenever I paint roses I always aim to paint their perfume rather than the plant itself. And here I am doing just that.
I have added gently to the centre of the rose bringing this wish to life so that it makes more sense. Before the detail is added to a first wash it is like a loose abstract having no story to tell. Or at least it has a story but too many parts are missing. Can you imagine watching a movie where parts of the script are missing and you have to make them up? That is what a good loose painting can be like, or a bad one. A poor loose painting has far too much information missing so the viewer has absolutely no idea what the subject is. But a good loose painting leaves just enough information missing for the viewer to fill in the blank sections. They know exactly what the subject is and they love the mystery about it.
But when we are enjoying painting sometimes it is far too hard to stop. So we over work by adding too much detail, turning our work into a more realistic style where we have crossed a line and either have to go the full hog and add all the detail or give up.
Below is my rose so far. More detail needs to be added possibly but it has a gorgeous feel to it at the moment and it is making me feel happy to work on it.
Rose, close up of added detail
It is funny but I started this blog post talking about what I had always wanted. A rose climbing around a cottage door. But I realise that isn't what I had always wanted. I wanted a home. To settle in without leaving it other than to travel for breaks and holidays. I have a dream come true. My home is lovely and I love living here. It is a cottage with roses climbing around the door. And strangely, I think that is part of why I love to teach watercolour. It brings me so much joy, as I meet people who have dreams of their own that relate to art. To painting. And I want to help them reach their dreams. because there is nothing more satisfying than helping others. I am in many ways " opening doors" to a fantastic art world where anything is possible. As as I often paint roses , they are climbing around that "open door to a magical art journey".
So to close my blog today I have a few thank yous' to give. To some very special artists who have either been on my workshops or read my books. I have noticed on Facebook that you are mentioning me for inspiring you on your own personal art journeys. And I want you to know how very grateful I am for the very kind mentions. I know you are now inspiring others by how you are painting so this circle of learning goes on and on, with no end. If we give and share from our hearts.
Thank you, a huge thank you to everyone who has passed on how much they have enjoyed my teachings whether it is in my books, DVDs, or workshop form. I hope to continue sharing for many years to come but people like you make me want to give even more. And I intend to!