This is a late edition of Friday Night Art.
I never used to suffer from spring allergies, but this last week the snow has finally started melting and the plants, their patience at an end, have attacked in force. All week, my nose has been doing an impression of the crust on a stuffed-crust pizza. At night my snoring has shaken loose the dust from places nobody can reach, covering me in a fine powder made of equal parts insect poop and spousal irritation.
On Friday morning I took a 24-hour Zyrtec® allergy tablet and promptly fell into a zombie swoon for the rest of the day. Sure, my nose was clear, but my mind was…wandering.
So I forgot to post my second Friday Night Art. I hope you will accept my apology for being late. Those of you who cannot accept said apology may submit claims for a full refund.
On to the art.
When I was young I loved art, as most kids do. Eventually my parents noticed. Perhaps it was the crayon drawings depicting Johnny Quest and his shiny metal spider vehicle thingy dismembering my older sister all over my bedroom wall that shook loose my parents’ inattention, I don’t know.
My mom signed me up for an oil painting class run by a nice old lady whose name I cannot recall. She was a very good painter, and a kindly but terse instructor with a gravelly voice, which I figured was caused by 1) years of breathing turpentine, or 2) chain-smoking Salem Lights. Maybe a little of both.
I loved the class. I did my very first oil painting there, which has been lost to history. I think my sister stole it when she moved out.
Anyway, the point of this is that my first love (aside from drawing) was oils. I learned to “think” in oils. That is, I learned to think in terms of dark to light; dark on the bottom and light on top, to over-simplify it.
When I took a watercolor course in college, I discovered watercolorists “think” opposite of oil painters. They think light to dark; light on the bottom and dark on top.
So making the transition to watercolors was and is very difficult for me. It’s like having to learn a language backwards. As a result, every time I create a successful watercolor, it feels like a EUREKA! moment, like I’m finally learning how to “think” from light to dark.
This is one of those paintings. Inspired by a crummy snapshot I took in Cabo San Lucas. I wanted to capture the warmth of the sun on the cape. I focused on a particular rock formation that reminded me of a fortress.
So for this late edition of Friday Night Art, I present to you, Fortress Rock, my greatest watercolor success… so far.
Previous Friday Night Art here.