Sea Ribbon - a work in progress
In June, I visited my sister on Vancouver Island. Because I am an early riser, and live in a different time zone, I got up each morning, walked to a near-by cafe, picked up my morning coffee, and headed for the beach. With my camera and journal in my backpack, it was a short 8 block hike before reaching a spot that had a perfect seat - a big driftwood tree. I sat there each morning, watching the ocean, the boats floating past, and taking pictures of house finches and bald eagles. It was such a calming and relaxing experience - I wished I lived close enough to the ocean to do that every day!
I also took lots of pictures of the rocks on this beach. Vancouver Island rocks are so unusual - mostly colored blue or black and white, and many are spotted. It is so amazing just to pick up as many different types/colors of rocks as you are able! You wouldn't believe the variety!
I did pick up some baby sized rocks to bring back so that I could paint them accurately. They had to be tiny, and not many of them, as we are now restricted in how much weight each suitcase can be when flying. Several of my pictures were of this seaweed which wound its way in between the larger rocks, forming a ribbon of yellow. It was so beautiful! I knew it was a painting waiting to be done!
The above photo is this painting, Sea Ribbon, as it now sits on my art table. I am trying a new surface for this watercolor - illustration board. I LOVE the textural effects I can achieve with this board! It works perfectly for my rocks and the sea stuff in between the rocks. BUT it is a challenge as well. Illustration Board is not anything like cold pressed watercolor paper nor canvas. It is ultra smooth - so much so that the paint does not always want to stay where I place it. If you work over an area too much, every under-painted layer lifts off. As well, if you overwork an area, you damage the surface of the board, and then you might as well throw it away.
I have to be careful not to place anything on the surface of the painting - except maybe a dry paper towel where my hand might rest. I put my hand on the painting while it was a bit damp from doing dishes, and the paint lifted onto my hand... lesson learned! However, this same quality can make it easier to lift out whites and highlights.
So - we will see if Sea Ribbon makes it through to completion without ruining the illustration board. It has been fun to work on once I understood its properties. However, understanding and being able to overcome the challenges are 2 different things! I will post this as soon as it is complete.