Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunrise, Sunset

Sunsets don't make much of an appearance on this blog.  I like sunsets a lot, and on my vacations I usually take a picture of each and every one.  But I don't paint them.  Way back when I took "Watercolor for Beginners" the instructor, who was a well respected portrait painter, said "Don't paint sunsets - they're trite and cliched". He should know, right?  My second class was with a woman who told me not to paint boats - they were hard to draw and always looked amateurish.  She should know, right? I'm no longer so sure about these absolutes pronounced by experts.  Are sunsets really trite, or did he just have a hard time painting a credible one?  Are boats hard to draw, or did she just have a difficult time with water reflections? Isn't it all subjective, and really shouldn't we get to paint what we like?
So when "Just add water, silly" chose sunsets as the theme for this month, I decided to make up my own mind about sunsets. I had a lot of pictures to choose from - this is Puerto Vallarta.  I had fun doing this - choosing the colors, blending them.  It made for an enjoyable afternoon and that's what it's all about, isn't it.
Watercolor paint in the HandBook sketchbook.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ginger and Spice

On our last cruise, we took a bus tour on the island of Grenada.  The air was warm and smelled of spices all the time.  Our bus took us high in the mountains to the Grand Etang National Forest Preserve, where all the native plants are gathered in a beautiful garden.  It is the highest point on the island - 1910 feet above sea level.  That's quite a steep climb as Grenada is a fairly small island.  There are many spice processing plants here, all contributing to the incredibly lovely aroma.  These are ginger blossoms.  I really liked the bold colors and fleshy, stiff look of these plants.  They are unlike the native flowers around here. Grenada is a beautiful island, very lush and green and mountainous.  I hope I get a chance to go back to it some day.
Watercolor paint and black and white gel pens.