Family and friends have been asking me to show them some of the watercolors I’ve been working on, so I posted a few on Facebook the other day.
I thought when I first started that my painting would be “just for me” and not shared with the world at large. But it’s hard to keep things you love, that bring so much joy, to ourselves, it seems. And I’m curious to know what others think.
I’m averaging one watercolor a week, and so far, all have been deemed “wall-worthy,” unlike the pastel paintings I worked on last year. My walls are filling up fast. A year from now, will there be any wall space left to fill?
I’m reminded of an immensely talented but public-shy artist friend. She’s been painting for 13 years, but rarely shows her work and does not display for sale. “What do you do with all your paintings?” I asked her one day after class, which she attends for the camaraderie, since she needs no instruction at this point. “Your house must be full!”
“Oh, yes,” was her nonplussed reply. “My house, and my garage, and a storage shed to boot. I trade them in and out of the house to mix things up a bit and give each a chance to shine.”
What a shame, I think. So much talent and beauty hidden from public view. Then I wonder what I’ll do when my own walls are full. How soon will I need a storage shed?
What a think to worry about! Especially when I’m having so much fun, and when there’s still so much I want to paint. I have at least a dozen paintings in my head that I want to get on paper. And there’s more inspiration every time I go to my Pinterest boards and view all the amazing artwork I’ve collected there.
Which brings me back to this blog. Perhaps I will start sharing some of my work here, despite what I wrote in a previous blog post about my painting being “just for me.” I’ll start by sharing my first three watercolors, which already have a place of prominence on a bathroom wall. They were inspired by photographs taken when we were sailing on La Gitana. I’m planning a whole series of tropical paintings–seascapes, boatscapes, landscapes, all from our travels.
Lately though I’ve become sidetracked from the sea to try my hand at some more impressionistic or symbolic paintings, as well as some florals and still lifes. I’m still experimenting with style, you see. While I admire realistic, representational painting, and I think it’s so important to be able to do this kind of painting well, I find myself drawn to a looser, more imaginative style that captures the essence of things with all its attending emotions and conotations. Like the paintings from artists I’ve featured on this blog.
Of course, representational painting in the hands of talented and inspired artists can do the same thing. But I’m not there yet. And these first three paintings I’m posting aren’t there yet either. But they capture enough that I’m pleased with. Enough to inspire me to keep practicing, keep painting.
They don’t capture that “something more” I’ve been writing about in one of my last posts on art, the form and the formless. But each hint at it. Something in the shimmer of the sea with the rocks half-hidden beneath. In that white-sand serenity of a turquoise sea. Something deep and dark in the dream-like beauty of those mountains rising out of the mist during our first tropical landfall in the Marquesas islands after thirty days at sea.
They hint at, but do not quite capture what I was after. Yet viewing them with the mind’s eye I can still go there and feel it. And that to me is what art is all about.