First…where have I been? Life has been crazy busy over the last few weeks with trips to visit my sister, doctor and dentist appointments, family events, and a multitude of other activities that have kept us on the go. This week, too, will be hectic. Tomorrow I’ll be making my weekly drive to St. Joseph to visit my sister. She’s in a retirement community there, is no longer able to drive, and she counts on me to come up each week to help with her shopping or other errands. Then, on Thursday, I have a dentist appointment which will take up most of the morning. The appointment itself will be quick — just a routine cleaning — but the drive takes a while.
Today was supposed to be meeting day for our Tri-County Art League, and to tell the truth, I was a bit glad when the meeting was cancelled. We’ve had about 12 inches of snow in our area, and while the main roads and highways are clear, it’s still not fun to get out in the cold. I’m looking forward to having the entire day to enjoy.
Like many people, I started the New Year with good intentions. I wanted to devote more time to my art study. I wanted to focus more on landscape painting. I wanted to work more on improving my drawing skills. Oh, I wanted — and intended — to do so many things. But, then, life got busier than usual, and my little holiday break got longer than I’d planned.
All in all, though, I think I needed that break.
I certainly hadn’t intended to be away from art blogging for so long, and when I went to my easel this morning and saw a little practice piece I’d finished a couple weeks ago, I laughed a bit, because it hadn’t turned out at all like it was supposed to. It was another good illustration of something that wasn’t quite what I intended.
Here’s it is.
To look at it, you might guess that I was working again on seascapes, trying to paint waves, and you’d be partly right. I didn’t begin the practice time with any intentions of painting waves, but once I started playing with the brush on the canvas (this is one of my little 5 x 7 practice panels) making waves seemed to be the most natural thing to do.
So, what was the intention behind this? You won’t believe me when I tell it. The practice session was all about gray. The idea was to mix my own gray, or, more accurately, to mix two different grays. One was to be a warm gray with a touch of rose. The other was to be a cool, bluish gray.
I came closer to the bluish gray than the rosy gray, but neither really look very gray at all. Obviously the colors I chose didn’t produce the results I wanted, but while mixing those colors around with a big brush, I learned to create a mottled mix — for lack of a better terminology. I was actually getting several colors on the brush at once, and I had fun swirling it around. As my swirls started to look like waves, I just went with that and created a very impromptu seascape, pleased that I had learned a new technique.
I’ve read about double and triple brush loading before, but this was the first time I was ever successful with it — and although my success was totally unintentional, the experience taught me a lot. I had fun playing with that bigger brush. I loved seeing the colors swirling together as I painted.
So, I still haven’t come up with my own grays, but I can keep working on that.