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As an art instructor, I don't wish to hide the fact that I crash and burn often. I will always be learning. So, it all gets shown here . . .good and bad. Every painting we do counts in the learning and experience process. The failures actually are much better teachers than successes. Every piece made is a teacher. That's the fun of it: the challenge to learn.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Spending Tuesday in Heaven



"Orange and Blue"
Watercolor 15 x 22 inches

As promised, here is the result of Tuesday's session on a hillside near Big Sur, California. As you can see from the about photo, the ice plant is colorful at this time of year . . . . .and finds itself in the most in hospitable places which, I think, are impossible to reach in order to germinate. But there it is!!

For me, this day was a day of, literally, falling in love! I have been dreaming about putting these images on paper with watercolor for weeks now. And here I was, back to the wind, being cautious not to spill my easel over the edge and into the water. What an incredible, beautiful day!!!

Putting the varied colors of the ice plant into a painting like this is a challenge. There are many greens mixed with reds of varying temperatures and intensities. After many attempts, I find that exaggeration seems to be the only way to intermingle those colors and to carry the emotion of the place. Rocks and water are one thing, but rocks and water with brilliant reds and oranges . . . . . . . .? Now THAT is something to dance for!!

I had to miss Wednesday, but am going back out on Thursday and hope that the forecasted rain doesn't appear until late in the afternoon.

Ciao !

8 comments:

John Salmon said...

Blimey! Mike. The top photo showed up as a thumbnail on my blog and I thought no-way is that a watercolour and if it is you've found a miraculous new technique. I just had to come and see for myself because if you were painting like that, I was going to break my brushes. I'm pleased it was a photo, but you had me going there for a minute.

John Salmon said...

Whoops! Forgot to say the bottom picture is brilliant too. Great colours and I would dance if I could.

Lydie said...

I understand your enthusiasm at the sight of these colorful cliffs, hummm a pure delight for the painter. Tanks for sharing this spot.

Kay said...

Your point about exaggeration is a good one. When I teach I try to convey to my students that the reason they fell in love with a subject is the very thing they need to convey... the delicacy of a daisy is not going to be carried well in a huge painting, the colour of your ice plant is not going to be "Wow" if you focus on the sea.

Love the passion of your post, it is invigorating! I'm off to the seaside... (eventually!)

Mike said...

Thanks for your visit and your comments, John. Here's hoping you are staying well and painting.

Mike said...

Pure delight is hardly enough emphasis, Lydie! I was so excited I could hardly stand still!! The way the light hit those cliff sides and bounced off that color was simply crazy! Thanks for stopping by!

Mike said...

Aahh, Kay! I can always count on you to be there lurking and waiting for one of my infrequent posts. I feel like we are kindred spirits! I always look forward to your comments because they are so right on the money!

Fred Spratt said...

great contrasts of the warm and dark pallet, it looks great. and brilliant to see a picture of all your gear out by the cliff, not a stuffy studio!!