I started this watercolor over a week ago, and waited until it became something to bother posting it. So here it is from the first stage (still wet, even). Then I edited out some things with white acrylic (next image). Then I dropped in some black ink and some orange pencil (third image). Finally, after looking at it for a week and seeing nothing inspiring, I realized one of the things it seemed like was a sky at sunset. The final piece is not very original (fourth image), but it was a fun few hours and a good warm up for a New Year's Day when I have a mild hangover. I was inspired somewhat by our trip to France (Provence) many years ago - but also, I think, by Jul in Munich's Tuscan paintings. And I think the colorful hill and sky has to have been influenced by Linda's Landscape in Red, a recent painting with the barns and sheep. Though her painting is more bright and clear than this doodle of mine.
We had a progressive dinner party last night on our incredible street. We did this last year, as well - we progress from house to house (change every 30 minutes), with each house serving some interesting kind of appetizer and a well paired wine (or two - or three - or...). We call it the progressive dinner party without dinner.
So we did five houses last night, starting with the Zinfandel/Merlot house with spanikopita, several delicious cheeses, asian pear, etc., and through several others (toasts with cheeses and scallions (with or without cayenne) vegetables and dip with a cabernet and Fat Bastard, mushroom dip on French bread and a white Burgundy, etc.) until we got to the house with the chocolate fountain, another good red, and also a muscato and a prosecco. At each house we were a little louder, there was a little more laughter, and people were less inhibited in conversation. By the last house (next door to us - belonging to Alex and his lovely wife, who organized this affair - their son is Youngest's best friend) things were in full swing. Alex has a pool table dominating his livingroom, and we played pool and talked and laughed. The idea was to stay there until the New Year. Upstairs the big bonus room was full of kids from six or seven households.
Dearest joined the party for the middle, because that's all her knee was up for. Daughter had come with me for the whole thing, and tried each of the wines from my glass. She stayed for the entire thing, one of the last six adults at the party (and our neighbors treat her like an adult, which surprises and delights her, since she's 16), and she brought her younger brother home with her, because I left around 10:30 to check on Dearest and to see if the PC was virus free after the last sweep I had left running. Success! That's when I posted a few comments last night. I fully intended to go right back over to the party.
But then I started to feel dizzy, as much from the rough night I'd had before (starting virus sweeps and then sleeping a little all night long) and from muscle tension in my neck. But the accumulated wine sampling had added up to about three glasses, which is a lot for me, and that didn't help. So I went to bed around 11:00. If I didn't move it was bearable.
Today I feel relaxed, but a bit low, and slightly headachey. Not sure if that's the wine, the neck tension, the "day after the day after" a lost night of sleep, or all of the above.
So today's creative offering feels formulaic to me - not much mental or emotional effort in this one. But it was fun to play with. And it has some nice passages in it.