Looking to the Light

World Watercolor Month is well underway, and hopefully before it’s all over I’ll have a nice collection of paintings to show. I’m using the challenge to create a series of portraits called “Faces of Summer.” You’ve seen one previously — Eyes That Have Seen Too Much —  and today I’m sharing another. This one was the first watercolor I did for the World Watercolor Challenge.

I’d planned to get started straight away on the first of the month, but life had other plans. I had little time to spend in the studio on either the first or the second. Finally, on July 3, I was able to officially begin my World Watercolor Month project.

It was a happy day for me. My husband was home, we had a lovely stroll through our garden, and I came down to the studio feeling good. I painted all those fluffy cumulus clouds you saw yesterday, all the while feeling happy, and do you remember me mentioning the bright yellows and oranges I’d splashed around during my watercolor play time?

I loved those colors — they reminded me of sunshine, oranges, summer days, and having fun.

So when I gathered my materials up to begin Day 1 of World Watercolor Month, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. The prompt word for July 1 was rejoice, and here’s my version: “Rejoice — Looking to the Light”

Rejoice - Looking to the Light (3)
Rejoice – Looking to the Light

I took my bright, splattered “play time” piece of watercolor paper with all its yellows and oranges and little bits of burnt sienna, and I drew my playful portrait right over it. I loved drawing this. The foreshortening was fun to create!

I used violet to create the skin color over the yellows and oranges already on the page. I did have a few drips that got away from me, so I just blotted them out the best I could and went on. It all seemed to add to the loose, casual, fun, happy feeling about this painting.

I can feel the heat of the summer day. I can feel the sunshine on my own face when I look at this. Quite simply, this was fun, and it makes me happy.

I’m happy because it is a glorious summer day, our garden is growing, our family is well, and we have a beautiful home where we can sit outside in the mornings or the evenings, we can listen to the birds and watch the squirrels play. Life is good.

But there’s another sort of happiness I find in this little watercolor painting, and maybe it’s the happiness that makes me feel the best. Plain and simple, this painting makes me feel happy because it makes me feel like an artist.

I saw it, imagined it, envisioned it, and put it all together. It’s spontaneous, fresh, bright, and filled with artistic imperfections. Oh, happy day! I’ve seen the light.


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