A man’s duty is to find out where the truth is, or if he cannot, at least to take the best possible human doctrine and the hardest to disprove, and to ride on this like a raft over the waters of life. — Plato
I spent part of this morning working on poems and then fetching sunflower seeds for the tiny but very hungry birdies. It was wonderfully pleasant to be out in the sun, temps in the forties and the sky so blue. Big puffy white clouds.
To divert myself from the world over the past few days I’ve watched quite a few instructional videos about watercolor. Last night I watched Frank Clark who walked through quite a few exercises, doing a landscape in one color, using simple shapes to suggest people, fruit and things like boats. He talked about sky, horizon lines and foregrounds. He uses goat hair brushes which are pretty strange but wonderful. Can’t argue with someone who can dash off a fair landscape in a few minutes (with hairdryer at hand) using 8 colors and three brushes.
I’m learning myself that most of the time things get done with bigger brushes so it doesn’t surprise me when I see these video guys using brushes that are 1 1/2 inches or bigger.
Anyway, I gathered up what I’d seen and sat down with the two latest paintings which were lacking proper foregrounds. I played around with my biggest brush a one inch wash and it did a pretty good job of being ragged and rough when dry. I played with holding the brushes by the far end and that just needs practice and repetition.
When those had grassy and melted areas here and there I slapped some blue and grey washes together and created a big bright blue sky with puffy white clouds sailing by. I didn’t let myself leave the foreground empty. That way I can start a new painting next time. No more dilly-dallying. Do the work. Keep making art. Do the work.