After spending the first weeks of my break working on oil paintings, I have finally returned to my other love… watercolors, of course! If you couldn’t tell from my enthusiastic title. It had been waaaaay too long, and I was getting sick of oils, so this was the perfect kind of transition. I’ll start back on the oil paintings within the week, and hopefully with some fresh ideas for my final art project (more on this later, + pictures).
Two of the watercolors are based off of photos I took while in France – one of the side of Notre Dame cathedral and the other of a field that my class went to paint in during the last two months of the study abroad program. I have so many incredible photos on my phone and camera that I want to paint… I just have to actually get the ones off my phone and onto the computer. Soon, I hope! I’m not even a great photographer. I lack patience and believe that I can always do one better by making art out of whatever it is that attracts me, but the places I visited were so gorgeous that they speak for themselves despite my amateur photography skills. : )
Paris was a very gray city last February, so I had to be a little creative in re-imagining what the side of Notre Dame would look like in the sunlight. And while I’m sure that it never gets quite this colorful, wouldn’t it be great if it did? It is such an amazing building. I enjoyed looking at its architecture more than I did the line to get in (thank goodness I went in February, I can’t imagine what the tourists would have looked like in the summer), and it was the only place in Paris that I intentionally visited multiple times. When you’re only there for five days, you kind of have to strategize!
Anyways, I had a lot of fun painting this. So. Many. Details. But they make it beautiful. I’m working on translating all of the many details I always see into successful works of art. In the past, I believed that my inability to create perfect, realistic, detail was a failure of mine and needed to be remedied. Now I know that there is a time and place for details – and some paintings just can’t handle all of them. Art is a journey!
I seriously love this field. I can’t get enough of Mont Sainte-Victoire or Beaurecueil. It’s this quaint little village nestled up close to the mountain, and I can only imagine how perfect it would be to wake up and see it from your bedroom window. There’s nothing like a mountain to make you feel small and part of something larger and more complex. The photograph I took lent itself well to becoming a painting because of the clear perspective lines (read: furrows) that helped show the distance. The mountain isn’t in this painting, but you’ll just have to imagine it looming at you from the left side. Except it’d be more like peering at you curiously, since Mont Sainte-Victoire is pretty placid and unassuming. Or at least that’s the impression I got. : )
Last one for today! I recently discovered the amazing Meteora monasteries of Greece. Wow. It blows my mind that someone saw the massive rock pillars and thought to build a monastery on the top. That being said, I would totally live there since I love to observe the world, and the higher you go, the more you see! I could probably see my house in Minnesota from there. Or not…
I’m concocting my list of places to travel to, and hopefully one day I can make a watercolor painting of the Meteora while there myself. I keep memories so much better if I paint or draw what I see, and I am so thankful for being granted the gift of artistry. Every day. Strive to cultivate your passions, and don’t live your life with the philosophy that working at something you don’t love today will get you to where you really want to be tomorrow. You know what? It might not. You might not be here tomorrow. So do what you love today.