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.
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Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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