I was busy writing and publishing my new crime mystery novel, Damned If She Does, so I haven't been posting paintings lately. My apologies if you've been stopping by and seeing nothing new. One thing I find with Parkinson's is that multi-tasking is difficult. If I've had a great night's sleep, writing and painting in the same day can work. But that's not usual. And posting takes an additional step.
So, having finished the book, I'm determined to post more paintings. If you like crime mysteries, I hope you'll check it out. This is not the greatest time to have published a book given the coronavirus. Book clubs and speaking at bookshops and other venues are out of the question. But the most important thing for all of us right now is staying safe and keeping others safe too. I am working with two very talented people on the audio version of the book, but that shouldn't get in the way of painting. So, here we go!
This painting was inspired by artists who allow water to do much of the work. I painted it a while back and donated it to help send two teenagers to do charity work for their high school project. A local framer donated a beautiful frame and the painting sold quickly. In fact, people wanted more of them. So, you may find the same thing happens.
The primary colors used are indigo blue in varying intensities, sky blue (light) and bright yellow. You can test your colors on a separate paper to be sure they are what you want before starting.
It's a simple palette painting, sticking with a few colors. And key, as we discussed before, is making sure the white is not lost as you paint because it provides the reflections.
In this painting, I decided to let the sea come above the halfway point of the painting. Usually, I choose to have the horizon lower than the halfway point -- about one third of the way up or even less. You can make a very light pencil line where you plan to have the horizon. That way, you can work on the sky and know not to go near that line in order to leave light along the horizon. The paper can be rough or smooth, depending on your preference. This paper was made in India and is slightly off white and somewhat rough. It came in individual sheets. It's 11" x 14" and if you're lucky you may find a pad of such paper, but likely in an art-dedicated shop. Don't let that stop you from experimenting!
I began at the top right with a number 12 brush by first applying an amount of water that would allow me to tilt the painting upward and from side to side encouraging the color, once applied, to flow and create the impression of clouds. With a second brush, right after the water has been applied, drop in color -- in this case indigo. Have a sponge or paper towel ready to catch the flow if it gets out of control and to dab at will. You can soak up some water and remove color if it runs, but you have to be quick. The entire painting is done by wetting the paper, dropping in color and letting the color flow downward or upward by tilting the paper.
Using this process, it's easy to accidentally paint over the white areas. And you need white areas for the yellows too. So, before painting you could use masking paste to protect areas you want to remain white. It peels off paper. Or you can take your chances. Either is fine. I didn't use masking on this painting, but I have on others. I was feeling experimental the day this painting developed. And I had the sponge and paper towel ready to quickly fix out-of-control flow. Not all days are lucky ones though!
You can create some of the upward wisps in the sky by letting the water with color flow upward and then use your brush to dramatize those wisps. If you're fortunate or very skilled, the water will do this for you, but don't hesitate to wisp further to your taste.
I hope you enjoy Reflective Sea. I'll be back. Kathleen
In way of introduction, you'll want to see the "About" page by clicking on that above. In short, this site is sharing ways to paint and maybe we'll get into writing as well sometimes. I'm a professor emerita of business and preventive medicine, author of nonfiction books on politics, negotiation and communication. And, since the early onset of Parkinson's, I've become an artist and a fiction author. Many of the paintings are of West Cork, Ireland where I live. My debut novel, Shadow Campus, is a fast-paced mystery thriller described by Forbes as a "masterful debut." The second crime mystery novel is Damned If She Does (2020) described by Kirkus Reviews as "informed and searing" and "a page-turning success." I hope you'll enjoy this site as it emerges and we paint together whether you have PD or not. I'll do my best to share what I've learned and continue to learn. We'll start with some watercolors and then introduce oils as well. Thanks for coming by. Kathleen Kelley Reardon