I have gone to Joanne's watercolor class a few times now and it is really amazing. I had no idea how complex it is to paint with watercolor. In other kinds of painting you start with the darkest colors and layer in the lighter ones as you go. But in watercolor you have to do the opposite: you start with your lightest background color and get progressively darker. And to get the light background color you do what is called a "wash". Basically you pick the color of the background and cover the whole canvas in that shade before layering in the rest of the painting. What this requires is that you have the painting in your mind before you start. And because it is watercolor it is nearly impossible to go back and fix mistakes. In other painting you can just paint over what you don't like, but in watercolor you get one go at it.
The thing that was most fascinating to me is that there is a way to leave blank space on the page. There is this stuff called "masking fluid" which is basically liquefied rubber cement. If you know you want some white in your painting, you use masking fluid to pain in that shape or element. Then you do your wash, then you take a special eraser and remove the masking fluid revealing white space that you can then fill with color. Pretty cool concept.
I got thinkign about this and realized tha tI am sort of intrigued with living a little more like watercolor adn a little less like other kinds of painting. First off I want to have a general idea of what I am going to paint before I start throwing color on paper. If I do it right the first time I have less to repaint and cover up later. The other is more profound for me. I need to leave white space--places in the painting to be filled in at a later date. Again, this takes fore-thought and intentionality but it is necessary to this technique. If I leave a few blank spots, that gives me the opportunity to come back at a later date and add this or that to what I'm doing.
The parallels to daily life are obvious. Think ahead, leave space, etc.. Love the little lessons that pop up in unexpected places.
Speaking of which, Joanne is working on skies and trees right now in class. She spent a good hour yesterday practicing her technique. Did you know that one of the basic tools of watercolor is a blow dryer? You have to dry each layer of watercolor before you add the next or your colors just run together. So Joanne and I were a team yesterday. She would paint and I would blow-dry the canvas.
She and I also took a drive yesterday to Woodland Park, which is about 45 minutes up into the mountains. There isa place there called The Donut Mill that has the most amazing donuts you've ever seen. They are HUGE. I am not kidding when I tell you that their jelly donut is the size of a small melon! We I picked up a few donuts to bring home to the girls and Joanne and I snaked on one on the drive back. It was nice to get a change of scenery.
Audrey and Emma have TCAP testing this week. I have no idea what that is but it must be a big deal because I get an email from the schools about it every day! What it means for Audrey is that she gets to sleep in another couple of hours as the testing doesn't start until 10 and I usually have to have her at school by 7:30. And on Friday she gets out at 10 and has the rest of the day off. That makes for a happy kid. Alas, Emma will be on her same old schedule all week. Bummer for her!
We are movign the rest of our stuff out of the house in a week in preparation for closing in two weeks. Should be pretty easy. Looking forward to getign thsi baby sold and moving on with our lives!
1. Pray that everything goes smoothly on the closing of the house. I won't be at peace until the deal is officially done!
2. Praise for a easier week for Audrey!
3. Another praise for how Emma has taken to school. She absolutely loves it! What a treat to get to take a happy kid to school in the mornings.
4. A prayer of thanksgiving for my parents who have come alongside up significantly over the last two months but letting us live with them while the house sells. They are the best hosts!