This was my second annual Muse Group Reunion since I moved away from Sebastopol and the group of students/friends I’d known for years. They of course had continued to meet and explore all kinds of new mixed media fun without me and grown stronger as a group. Happily my honorary member status lets me slip right back into the group when I’m in town. That Tuesday last week was one of those now familiar downpour days where you wonder if the puddle will follow you inside.
It was the second day of Spring and I shared a technique that works so beautifully to channel that inner spring bloom mania many of us get when, after a long winter, the blooms start to manifest. I call it Painting with Water Shapes. It actually works best, I think, when you apply it to shapes from your imagination. So whatever your imagination is full of at the moment (haha!), which for me is leaves and blooms, can manifest in your water shapes. For some it might be people, or musical instruments, or even cars and airplanes! Here’s my demo from the day.
There’s a carnival going on in this spring garden, and you’re all invited!
Skip over the puddles or splash through and join us.
The seeds have teamed up this season and shared their genes
In passionate coupling under dripping trees
Creating in their dye pots wild alien species
Abandoning all rules of floral etiquette
Falling over each other in a dizzying drama of originality
Twining and turning and popping up their heads
Giggling at the absurdity of it all.
If you want to try this. my advise is to start by painting watery shapes with your brush, maybe with a touch of pigment so you can see them. Then just charge the inks or watercolors (with just enough water to make them fluid) into the water shapes. As soon as you tip the paper to watch the colors blend, the action starts! So be on your toes to connect new water shapes, charge in more pure color, stop inclining the paper and let it dry! Otherwise mud has been known to happen.
And here they are, the Sebastopol Muses, (minus 3). Golly I miss em! Always up for art fun together.
Next day, out on the flooded Laguna de Santa Rosa, the mustard and oxalis were blooming and skies and earth doing that scintillating mirror dance.
And my favorite countryside sketching spots. . .
Those gnarly oaks I struggled for years to paint!
Before leaving Sonoma County for the Bay Area part of my visit, I stopped by our old home on Lewis Dr., talked to a couple neighbors and got a tour of the property from the current (and exceedingly happy) owner, who is turning my art studio into a guest cottage.
My mother’s memorial weeping cherry tree was in bloom! The pipevine, long cultivated by me for the life cycle of the Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly, was displaying its signature Dutchmen’s pipe blossoms, and the lemon bush was blanketed with Meyer lemons.
And then the chicken coop, Bob’s studio, and the interior of my studio was gone, making room for new home owner dreams I guess.
Meanwhile Bob is outside right now securing our vegetable garden here in Olympia so the deer don’t get in when we start planting veggies. The blossoms are popping out everywhere now in Olympia and in my back yard. Changes everywhere every day. Isn’t life a wild ride!?