We are headed down the road today with four grandkids to visit the children's museum, then after lunch, scourer a pumpkin patch for the best four pumpkins there. Our fall colors here are good this year, but not as spectacular as we've seen before. It's still beautiful.

For this painting, I employed a technique that Ohio artist, Don Getz, uses to perfection. On watercolor paper already covered with white gesso, I painted four medium valued colors over the whole page. Once that was dry, I lifted out the light values and added the darks. More than half the painting was a medium value, so those areas were done when I put that first paint on .... kind of sounds way easier than it was to do....

"BLAZING GLORY" Transparent Watercolor on 140#CP Arches covered with White Gesso, 30 x 20" COLLECTED



This is the view we had while sitting on a comfortable park bench on the shoreline of Lake Maggiorie. Can you imagine your sweetheart building you a beautiful Italian villa on an island in a lake? Pretty cool. Some of us had to paint it, postcard size, and some of us had to shop.
This is 'Bella,' which means 'beautiful' in Italian. Later, when I was painting in another location, various people would stop by, peek at my work, and say, "Bella' or 'Complimetre." I always said "Grazie," and smiled. I love trying to communicate in a foriegn country, and it's so surprising how really easy it is to do.
A few days later, an artist/art teacher from Florida bought this little painting. Since I greeted her in Italian, she must have thought I was Italian as she pulled a travel palette out of her purse to show me that she also watercolored. When I exclaimed in English, "You're an artist, too," she surprisingly replied, "Oh, you're American, too." We laughed.
"BELLA" Transparent Watercolor on 140#CP Fabriano Artistico 7 x 5" COLLECTED


ON YUPO - BEST OF SHOW from Watercolor Society of Indiana

Inspiration for this painting came from an experience I had walking across avery windy bridge on a rainy day in London a couple of years ago. We were hurrying to see Westminster Abbey before it closed.

The wind had already broken my umbrella, and the rain was icy cold. We certainly were not dressed for the sudden change in weather. Those were the things I remembered as I tried to capture that moment in time on a piece of YUPO.

Rather than painting an accurate picture of the area as I saw it, my desire was to convey the feelings I felt during that cold, rainy, hurried walk. I already had a photo of the scene and wanted to be able to express what took place in a more visual and emotional way.

The excitement of being in a other country, exploring it's beautiful city with so much going on, even on a rainy, windy day, is what this picture is about. If the viewer can connect to that feeling, then what I'd hoped to create was successful.

We didn't make it in time to go into Westminster Abbey. Someone viewing this painting may even sense my disappointment of not getting to see it. Still, the overall trip was a great success.

The title, INTERLUDE, conveys several meanings. The rain and wind were an interlude in our beautiful day. A stop at the abbey would have been a special interlude but was not to be. And the trip overseas for me was a HUGE interlude in my life, changing the way I saw things, and even the way I painted. I am so thankful that I got to take the trip as well as be able to visually express my reactions to the experience as an artist later. It was an interlude I will always cherish.

Betsy Dillard Stroud was our judge for this show, and she offered each of the nine award winners some wonderful comments about our paintings. The paintings will hang through the last weekend of October in the beautiful Indianapolis Museum of Art.

If you like, scroll to the very bottom of this blog for my post dated May 5th, where you can also see the first painting of this scene created from the same photo, with changes posted on May 18. I think this newer painting captures more of the feeling I wanted to convey. May 5th's post also shows the original photo I worked from.

Just in case you wanted to know, this painting started out with a good white shape. The good white shape became the 'no longer visible' bones that help hold the painting together. I really appreciated this award from this great group of watercolorists!

"INTERLUDE" Transparent Watercolor on Heavy Weight YUPO, 20 x 26"