I had several artist and painter friends, from the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts, tell me they wished I'd break out and use the watercolor in it's pure, unwatered form. Really go overboard. See what happens. My work is too careful and my use of pigment looks faded. I agree.
So here it is, 18 x 24 inches (click it for a larger view). This is based on a photo in Time Magazine, about an ecovillage in Ithaca, NY. The photo is not colorful - in fact the buildings and landscape are drab - but I loved the composition, and the path the woman was walking with the organic chickens seemed like just the sort that drives me crazy: irregular, mysterious, branching to the sides in all directions, running off to anywhere, far out in a sea of wildscape that you can see over back to your safe haven. Like Big Meadow on Skyline Drive.
And my dreams and thoughts are full of the idea of solar power - collecting light to use again later. So I call this one Yesterday's Sunlight from Today's Windows. It captures some of what I wished. The figures are weaker than I'd like - but stronger than I feared when I started. And the colors are a bit out of control. I really must master the use of grays, and some degree of subtlety with color.
But that wasn't the point of this exercise. And so this painting, though I won't be displaying it anywhere besides this post, is a success. I threw paint around. And I like some of the foreground, and my freedom with the buildings.
And the three chickens following the tall lady with the red slacks was what made the photo first stand out. Whimsical.