The Mall, Washington D.C. during D. Drumpf’s inauguration:
The Mall, the next day, during the Women’s March on Washington, January 17, 2017:
Paige Carmichael, age 6, from Chadd’s Ford, PA, in Washington D.C. on January 21, 2017:
My neck of the woods, Grand Central Terminal, New York City, on January 21, 2017:
January 21, 2017: 19 million marchers, 60 countries around the world, including Antartica:
Were you, like me, taken by surprise how yuuuuge this thing was? Are you, like me, overwhelmed and almost heart-sick with gratitude to every person who showed up? Did you, like me, stay home because . . . well, there is no excuse why I stayed home: I should have been paying more attention, and roused myself from my routine, and bought me a hot pink “pussy hat” from Etsy, and gotten on a bus or a train and shown up.
As it happened, on the warm and sunny early afternoon of the march, I was driving through my sleepy woodsy neighborhood on my way to keep an appointment here in Nassau County, Long Island, and I passed a great number of ramblers, dog-walkers, and runners enjoying the Spring-like weather. Then in the distance I spotted a young couple walking together by the side of the road (no grubby suburban sidewalks in this bucolic scene in the area known as “The Estates”) and they were pushing a baby stroller and holding holding up a home made sign. When I got near enough to read it, the sign said: Love Trumps Hate.
Well, while I don’t entirely believe that that’s true (because I live in the real world), I appreciated the context of the sentiment and I admired their gumption to hold a one-family rally of solidarity here on the back roads of The Estates, so I honked my horn and gave them the thumb’s up, and that’s what I did for the Women’s March.
By the way, Long Island comprises two counties, Nassau and Suffolk. In Nassau County Hillary beat Trump by 5% (31,000 votes) on this Republican strong hold of Long Island. It was in Suffolk County where Trump won big: 8 points, or by 50,000 votes, in deep-blue New York State. Suffolk County is also where, starting from 1935, American Nazis had a summer camp for the indoctrination of their future storm troopers, until 1941 when it was forcibly closed. Forcibly closed. By the American government. Because even in 1941, the American Nazi supporters of Hitler had, otherwise, no intention of renouncing their hideous ideology for being, you know, like, wrong.
Yeah, I’m saying it: That’s who voted for D Drumpf in 2016.
Camp Siegfried. You can look it up.
So, Dear Readers and nasty women, shall we paint something Wintery today?
You remember this photo from last week:
Today we are going to see if/how we can paint that middle tree:
So let’s start :
I am painting over my tree’s penciled-in guide lines with broken lines of watercolor:
The thing, as I see it, is to make up a “tree” with more-or-less dotted lines in varying widths and in varying hues of gray and gray-blue and blue (because I’m whimsical that way):
On to the trunk:
So, from last week and the week before, I now have three “samplers” of three different Winter tree effects. . .
. . . which I am going to assemble into one scene, inspired by that photo that I got off the internet:
Are you ready? Because we’re doing it right now!
I only need to sketch in a few guide lines. . .
. . . and away we go:
I am working much faster here than I normally do, because I am still on the learning curve here and I don’t need this picture to look perfect to validate myself as an artist (hint, hint). But even having low expectations, I was not satisfied that (see above) those two trees were adequately differentiated in color and texture, so I added on a faintly greenish over-wash on the pine:
So now it looks like this:
Now I have to work wet-in-wet for the background:
I didn’t photograph the painting of this background bit because we already watched me do that in last week’s post and the week before, so we know how that goes. Let’s skip ahead to what this thing looks like when it’a all high and dry:
All we need to do is crop it and we are
OK, it’s a crap pic but now I get the gist.
No if’s and’s or but’s: I will have to do this again because, Ick (see above). And when I try this again, I will be more mindful of the compositional mistakes I made in trying to replicate my internet photo. Namely, I have placed that line of background trees too close to the same line as the threes in the foreground, which looks weird and is why there is no depth to this scene.
Also, this picture is just not painted all that well.
Even though I work exclusively from photos, I now realize that all photos are not equal: I am much better when I am using my own photos or photos from someone I really like, of something I’m really invested in, such as a DoG or a cat or (as someone really had me do this for them) a favorite teacup. That’s what I can get into. Painting from an internet photo, which represents a landscape that I have no personal connection to, is more challenging than I anticipated. So, there’s that.
It looks to me that next week, if you can stand it, I am going to sit down one more time and paint this scene again. Let’s see if I’m right, that by correcting the mistakes that I’ve observed above, I can come up with a pic that works.
This, you see, is how a self-taught watercolorist, such as myself, teaches herself. You begin by taking a stab at something that you know you cat do but you do it any way, and the thing looks like crap but you don’t quit because it looks like crap, noooooo, not you, you observe what you did right and what you did wrong and you do it again, and again, and again, each time righting the wrongs of the previous crappy effort, and with each repeat you get slightly better and better and better, until you’re pretty damn good.
So let’s take heart, my Wonder Ones, and march our nasty selves back to the watercolor table one more time and see if we can’t learn something worthwhile next week from the same-old-same-old. You in?