Friday, October 24, 2008

Waiting at The George

A friend of mine, whom I also happen to work with, went on vacation with her family a couple of years ago to an island just off the west coast of Canada, named Galiano Island. On that island is a beautiful Bed & Breakfast called The George, where they stayed for their holiday. One of the photos she took struck me as such a rich and peaceful scene, and this is my interpretative painting of it. 

The little cottage is actually a sauna house. Just beyond the lawn is beach and the ocean. The adirondack chairs are set up so that they are just waiting for the guests to come and relax, read a book, journal, or gaze out over the beauty of water and trees. I would really like to visit The George, which is named for the dog, George, who lives there!

For this painting, I went back to a technique I have used before where I poured several layers of yellow, red, and blue as my underpainting, preserving my lights through different applications of a liquid friskit. I love the softness of the background colors, and how the pourings create the play of light and shadow throughout the painting. It is also exciting to see the secondary colors which are created with the pours of paint. This technique is rather unpredictable, but that is the excitement of this way of painting! 

"Waiting" - original watercolor,  15 x 22 1/2 inches, 300 lb. Arches cold pressed paper

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Michelle said...

I was rewarded for my persistent daily clickings with being the first to comment!!! :)

I would love to hear more about this technique - watercolour is one of those mediums that I cannot wrap my head around. Long term planning with frisket was never ever my specialty. Probably for the same reason I suck at chess.

This piece has a lovely soft mood about it (due in a large part I suspect to this technique you've used) I love the haziness to the foiliage, somehow it almost gives a tangible warmth to the air.

Anonymous said...

Very nice painting. A sauna house? Cool! I like the chairs on the outside. I agree with the comment above that the painting gives off "lovely soft mood". Definitely.


Jean Victory said...

Seems like it would be a nice place to relax. I actually tried this pouring technique with watercolors and was horrible at hard to control. It looks like you're doing pretty good with it...keep it up.

Joanne said...

Oh Michelle, I know you have lots of strategy.. I've seen you in action! :-) I bet you could beat me at chess any day!
The pouring technique does take some planning, and sometimes lots of patience, but the results can be surprising and really atmospheric/mood setting. For certain paintings, it is just the best - especially bright, sunny, hot days where you want the impression of light and color.

Joanne said...

Thanks, Paz! Yes- I too thought "a sauna house???", but that is what it is. I guess if the ocean is too cool you can use it to warm up, and if you get too warm in the sauna house, you can use the ocean to cool off. The best of both worlds!

Joanne said...

Thanks, Jean. Persistence seems to be the key to this technique. You keep at it till you get the hang of it and then suddenly one painting turns out, and it was all worth the effort.