I had been contemplating the equinox as a time of equality of opposites of all sorts, not just night and day, dark and light. And so the first demo of the day on Sunday was an example of painting positives on one side of the page and negatives on the other. Turns out that was a real brain twister, but just the sort of exercise that hones ones watercolor skills. And botanicals were the perfect opportunity. As I finished this little sketch I looked up and saw that in the 11:00am sky directly in front of me was a perfect half moon! equal parts light and not. Now I suspect there is no such word in the English language as “equinoxian”, but don’t you truly think there should be?
So while the student struggled with this positive negative exercise, many were clustered around these miraculous orange flowers. The pigment we needed in our palettes would have to be called “the orangest orange”.
Marilyn doing orange
And then we discovered little mushrooms in the redwood grove – mushrooms and clovers and ferns! And we used our patterned pages as a start for woodland sketches.
A very good example of an “overworked” piece, but oh so fun to do. Can you tell which if any of the shapes are actual plants glued on?
My fellow blogging buddy W.R. (Bill) Jones came up from southern California to join us for the weekend. It’s a little bit scary when you’ve only met someone on the internet and then you know they’re going to show up in person. And, I mean, what if you can’t stand each other in real life? Well, thank heaven Bill turned out to be as funny and likable in person as on the internet. And such a good sport! I mean, the guy’s an accomplished plein aire oil painter, with the most perfect easel set up I’ve ever seen (of course he’s also an engineer which always translates to the practical and useful art equipment). And he spent the weekend doing quick watercolor sketches on his lap like the rest of us! Anyway here he is, his cowboy hat upstaging his shoulders a bit, but maybe that’s just my unconscious reaction to his collossal intelligence.
Next: the equinox finale