Friday, May 4, 2012

New Old Things: Watercolors and "The Artichoke Series"



About six years ago...well, seven or eight years ago, really, because I had not painted since we left Kentucky. Way back, I was doing watercolors with a fabulous teacher named Aline Barker. This was in Louisville, Kentucky. Hindsight and a few more classes have shown me how lucky I was to have learned from her. I LOVED watercolors.
Then I stopped.
But this year, I swore I would start painting again, and I have started again. The downside is that I may never again have as experienced a teacher as Aline. The upside is just that I am painting again and learning (all over) again. But that's okay. I often paint on Friday mornings, so my plan is to share what I've done with you here.
Be kind!
Painting requires so much "other" energy--creative energy that maybe you leave behind (many of us do, I think) as a child, when you just find joy in creating something from nothing, in putting colors on the paper. I try to find that and try not to be too self-critical when I paint. And one day, maybe I'll find "my" style.
For now, I'll just keep painting because I love it.

This week, I share my artichokes. The first one was done with watercolors and I was copying a label I saw in the grocery store (inspiration everywhere!). The second was from the same label, but I used watercolor pencils, which I had never played with before--FUN.
The third is from a photo a facebook friend posted. As I noted to someone else, I obviously need to work on spatial relationships, and I will attempt this one again, but for now, I call it Artichokes in Space. I crack myself up.

And please share with me what YOU do that takes you away from your normal routine? What puts you outside of yourself, even if it's only a little bit?

9 comments:

Maša said...

the first one is my favorite. and I love the title "artichokes in space", it made me smile. :)

the answer to your question would be going to a live concert. I should do that more often. :)

Van Waffle said...

They're lovely, Barb. The contrasts in the third one are particularly interesting.

I have always had so many creative interests it has been hard to learn to concentrate on anything long enough to develop any expertise. Writing has always been a constant, though. Several years ago I learned to weave. These days it is my favourite way to relax, escape from the intense mental activity involved in writing, and use my hands to make something beautiful. I'm quite proud of this stole I made recently: http://pinterest.com/pin/99501472987443486/ Of course, there is also gardening.

Anjuli said...

I had never thought of painting artichokes. WELL DONE!!

I smiled at the artichokes in space. Love the creativity!

Painting is definitely NOT my forte- so I'm always impressed with those who can paint!

donab said...

I love these. Watercolor is so challenging - and rewarding!

Jackie Dishner said...

Absolutely adore your first one. As for me, what takes me out of my comfort zone, or outside of myself? Well, you know I ride a mountain bike. I generally ride it on the canal bank, easy-peasy. So I think when I actually get to ride the mountain bike on a single track trail, that takes me out of my comfort zone. I have to maneuver terrain I'm not used to. I have to be more alert. I have to rest a lot because it's physically challenging. But I love it. I love making the attempt. I don't mind having to stop and push the bike along sometimes. I don't mind that it scares me. But I know my limits. I'm a beginner to intermediate rider, and I'm okay with that. I don't need to compete. I don't need to push the bar too high. But I do want to test myself when I can. It's good for the self-confidence. Maybe painting's like that for you. I'd like to try painting some time, would love to explore that side of my creativity. I love that you are.

Anonymous said...

So what is a watercolor pencil and how is it different from a regular colored pencil?

Barb Freda said...

Watercolor pencils looks just like colored pencils, but after you draw, you "activate" the colors with a wet brush and they turn into watercolors on the paper--regular colored pencils do NOT do this...It's so cool and you get a really interesting result...I found a set of 12 colors for about $9...The trick is mixing the colors when they are dry (coloring over colors) to get the color you think you want when the pencils get wet.

Jane Boursaw said...

Oh this is awesome, and artichokes are a really artistic veggie (they are a veggie, aren't they?).

I used to paint - oil paintings - but got away from it with work, kids, yada yada. It's always been my goal to get back to it at some point. I also have a floor loom collecting dust in the basement.

Barb Freda said...

Jane, yes, they are a veggie and yes, they are a great thing to paint because there are all these colors in them...

I've moved on, but I'm not done with the artichokes yet!!