I moved back more to watercolor the last few days. It was raining off and on Friday, but I manages to find a couple of protected enough places to paint. One was the Carnavalet museum garden, where I could be under a covered walkway with a great view of the mix of formal boxwood with kitchen garden plants --- tomatoes, beans, and cabbages. Utterly charming.
I also went back to paint the fountain at the Place des Voges after doing a couple of marker sketches there earlier. It was drizzling slightly, but the thick tree arbors there gave me plenty of protection for painting.
I included a halfway done picture of this one. It shows what has been so hard for me about watercolor. For years in pastels and even in oils, I could do the entire background in the dark colors and then just pull the white of the fountain on top.
With watercolor, I have to be very conscious right from the beginning about where the water is and leave it completely clean as I'm working. It takes a lot of concentration, and there's no real recovery from a mistake. But I'm having fun with the watercolors, and their compactness is just marvelous for traveling, so it's been worth learning the mental shift.
On Saturday I had the marvelous treat of hanging out with Rene Miller and Stephen Harrison as they played music all afternoon. They set up just beside a Left Bank cafe, and I scored the table right next to Stephen and his bass. So I had the comfort of a chair and table to work at while I listened to the guys play their excellent music. A perfect afternoon. I did one longish watercolors and a couple of quick sketches of the guys playing.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
Get studio email updates from Gideon and me.
To subscribe to this blog, by email: