|A path deep in Lithia Park|
I started two other watercolors, and thought, "This isn't going to be as easy as I expected it to be." I could feel myself mixing up what I know about watercolors and acrylics, two mediums that I use regularly in very different ways. I began to doubt myself, but I reminded myself that I needed to focus. What did I want to do? Paint in a particular color? Work with darks and lights? Layer the paints -- putting down one coat, letting that dry before I painted another -- or do a quick sketch? Because I hadn't taken the time to quiet my mind and ask those questions, I was just throwing paint on the paper. Sometimes that works, today it didn't.
|This is the mess I made,|
which I gessoed over at home.
I'm still working on this piece.
It may be an envelope yet!
| This piece is unfinished. I like to paint in layers,|
but that takes time to let each layer dry.
I stopped my two paintings, knowing that I could either rescue them at home or make them into envelopes if they really didn't work out. I took out a pencil and focused on a small section of the park -- ivy growing around the trunk of a tree and drew that. I felt better. I knew this drawing was going to be a study of darks and lights, of negative spaces. I knew that I needed time to arrive at what would be my real work for the day. The early paintings on any given day are warm-ups for my mind.
|I love the decay and renewal in a forest.|
On our way home from Ashland, I decided to sketch the mountain peaks that we passed. Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen are both volcanoes, but Mt. Diablo is not. Mt. Diablo was formed from volcanic rock through plate tectonic shifts. All three peaks remind me of Mt. Fuji, which also stands alone.