Adventures with Watercolor

I couldn’t sleep this morning, awaking at 5:30AM. Must have been the Grande Latte I had last night, just before I went to bed. So, I surfed the web, checked out my emails, and looked through some books I’ve recently purchased on painting technique. You see, I signed up to donate three canvases to The Art Bar for their The Lost Women of Juarez exhibit and silent auction, from which the proceeds will be donated to Casa Amiga, a non-profit organization which helps victims of violence and their families, and is located in Juarez. I keep questioning my ability to paint–I haven’t touched a canvas in years, and the few paintings I’ve done held center stage in my mother’s bedroom. Since she’s passed on, I’ve given one of each to two cherished childhood friends. However, back to my paint story… I’ve taken watercolor painting classes with the talented Sally Jorgensen, and yet I felt intimidated by the medium. I’d learnt to paint with acrylics in college, and yet, I continue to feel intimidated by the medium. I dabble in the stuff, and fearlessly lay down color for backgrounds in my journals and for my collages, and yet, when time comes to really create a ‘painting,’ I balk.

This morning I decided to pull out my little Windsor & Newton field watercolor kit (which up to this point hadn’t been broken in) and proceeded to paint my first watercolor in years. It looked horrible (and is now crumpled, in the trash) but I moved on to the next piece. Perhaps the subject matter hadn’t moved me, or was incompatible with my palette. So, inspired by my love of autumn, I painted another little mini painting, on postcard sized watercolor paper. I liked it so much that it now accompanies the October 1st entry.

I forged on, this time trying my hand at portraiture. I didn’t have a model, so I worked out of imagination. This makes appropriate lighting difficult, but OH well… forward march. I ended up with the portrait above, which has convinced me to finally brave the canvas–maybe tomorrow.

The rest of the day was spent driving to and from Riley’s Farm in Oak Glen, CA, where we picked some fresh apples, bought some apple cider, and sat down for an apple pie pocket. The pie making will have to wait until I get to the grocery store. The $8 bag of apples we left with will barely yield one pie, so I’ll have to pick up some more apples to make the mess in the kitchen worthwhile-enough for at least two pie’s worth! The cost of apple picking has gone up a bunch since my girlhood!

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