Tag Archives: landscape watercolours

Walking.

I have always enjoyed walking.

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When I returned to the UK in 1993 and moved to Crickhowell, Wales (The Magical Town of Crickadoon) I made the decision to stop driving.

This image of one of the landscapes I walked in every day during the twelve years that I lived and worked in Crickhowell, is painted over an old sketch.       I am using a mix of watercolour/gouache.

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Having lived and worked in the States for twenty eight years and at times felt as if a car was attached to my body, I decided – no more. 

I must admit that driving was never something I really enjoyed, unless on an open, empty road where I never had to parallel park!:)

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This meant organising my life in such a way that I could walk to everything, and that’s what I did and continue to do today.

As long as I could get the basics…i.e. food and art supplies, I didn’t need a car….and when living in Crickhowell, I could walk to thirteen pubs, all of which served very good food:)

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Living in greater London, I am well placed in terms of having all my needs met within walking distance and public transportation is excellent.    (of course we do have deliveries of just about everything today, including art supplies.)

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I continue to walk somewhere every day and find the rhythm of walking to be an excellent form of meditation…often a time when ideas come to me.

a time when I am able to think of Magical Hummingbirds…..

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Procrastination……the action of delaying or postponing something……

‘Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.’   Napoleon Hill. 

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This does make me smile.    Up until the age of nearly forty, I tended to procrastinate.

To make up for my procrastination, I would then binge paint, or do things in great bursts of energy, lacking any real rhythm or consistency which played havoc with me and my work.

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I would write long letters to people, and then not send them!   What was I thinking????

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Then, everything changed.     When I was almost forty, I made a personal commitment to establish rhythms in my life.     Rhythms and schedules that would work for me.

The suspect word  ‘moderation’ came into my daily life and with it  I found that I was able to accomplish so much more.

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With new habits, life in general became more manageable and enjoyable.

As time went by, I recognised that rhythms and routines can and do evolve with the inevitable changes we experience in life….after all, nothing is set in stone.

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A Bientôt

Tutorial 5. Warm up landscape.

In this short video, I am using the same techniques used in the Calla Lily tutorial.

This is a warm up exercise that I have used for many years. You end up with a little landscape painting, which again can be modified in many different ways, by changing the horizon line, adding some mountains, etc. The key is that it’s all about warming up and playing. By the way any colours can be used.

Before e mail, when I would send lots of snail mail around the world, I would paint these little landscapes on the envelopes. A great way to warm up, and the receivers always enjoyed.

For the sky area I am using – Winsor & Newton Cotman series, Turquoise and Dioxazine Violet.

Between the sky and land, Winsor & Newton Gold Green, and a mix of Prussian Blue and Burnt Sienna for the foreground.

I use a knife or credit card to scrape out grasses in the foreground.

It’s important to note that I don’t use black in my watercolours. Rather I mix Prussian Blue and Burnt Sienna for my darks. I would suggest that you play with swatches of this combination.

Note that I bring colour from the top of the painting into the foreground….because the sky naturally reflects upon the land. Everything reflects and everything is interconnected. This also helps to balance and bring harmony to the image.

This little story points out how our minds are conditioned by what we are taught, rather than what we actually see or experience.

When giving a workshop in Wales one beautiful sunny January morning, one of the participants painted a landscape he had seen on the way to the workshop. He explained that the fields in the landscape was actually blue, and then went onto say that as there are no blue fields in winter, he painted them brown……..

The fact was, the man had seen blue fields. He had seen the reflection of the clear blue sky onto the white frost covering the fields. Rather than believe what he actually observed, he instinctively chose to go with what he had been taught.

When we first enter the world, we are naturally full of curiosity and wonder.

By the time we come to the end of our formative years, at around seven, the narrow definition that our culture has imposed upon us has taken hold.

Happy warming up and playing.

All these exercises can be found in my book The Apple Exercise. The book is available through the products page of my website at http://www.janetweightreed.co.uk

A Bientôt