Every year in May, the Blue Bells at Lockridge Park bloom. The park literally becomes a field of purple. All of us “locals” visit the park during this time of year to photograph our children among the blooms. My daughter and I go every year. I have taken quite a few amazing (not to be too humble) photos of my daughter over the years. Last year, I shot some of my all time favorites. She was wearing a dress that matched the flowers exactly and she borrowed my big straw hat and sunglasses. I already painted a few portraits of her from that shoot. One, that I named “Dress Up,” is on my list to repaint, as it sold last month. While looking through the shoot photos for the original photo that inspired that painting, I came across another one that I love, so decided to paint that one first. Here it is:
I declared this one done yesterday. Then I worked on it again last night. Then I tossed and turned all night thinking about how I was going to repaint it. This morning I got up early and with just a few final touches, really finished it. Somehow the picture I had of it in my head was very skewed. It didn’t require a complete repaint, just a few well positioned highlights and a clear head. I think I need a nap now!
I took a break from my “Personal Best” series painting today to work on a new watercolor. I had taken a great photo of a cow at one of our local farms last year and had been meaning to use for inspiration one of these days. Well, that day was today!
It’s missing the energy! I’m hoping one more session at the easel will put thi sone to bed. Right now, I still feel like the intensity isn’t there. I don’t feel the energy yet. I think it needs a bit more contrast….some big hits with white and black. I think the flatness of the color is what is keeping the energy level down.
I may never finish a marathon, or even a half, but for me, the triumph is in getting out and doing it. That’s the passion and energy I want to capture in this series.
All of the paintings are based on photos that I take at various races that I attend…sometimes as a runner, sometimes just to watch. None of them is any person in particular, but an essence of the runner. Someone in which we can all see ourselves.
For the most part, the form of the runner is fairly accurate, but what I really want to capture is the energy…that dynamic place where will meets ability and becomes something amazing!
I started this watercolor over a year ago. It went somewhere that just didn’t work, so I set it aside. The other day I decided it was time to get back to painting and to see if I couldn’t get this one on the right path.
When I last worked on this one, I tried some techniques that work really well with my acrylic paintings, but watercolor just doesn’t handle the same way! I went back in with a lot of wet brushes and paper towels to quiet down some of the textures (read: scribbles) that I had previously added and softened up the overall feeling, while keeping same of the interesting texture just below the surface.
I kind of love the now subdued scribbles. Hopefully, I can replicate them in future work. The absence of my “signature” crazy line-work was something that always seemed to be missing from my watercolor work.