Paint and Paper

I have always dabbled in all kinds of art and creativity.  But several years ago I took a watercolor class from a wonderful instructor in our local art store.  I had tried watercolor on my own but never quite got the results I was hoping for.  However, in Esther Chang's class we all became empowered to conquer the wash.  I really felt I had found my medium and loved every minute of the discovery of color and technique.

Esther moved to California last year and with that event and just general busyness and distractions, I kind of drifted away from my paints and brushes.

While shopping for groceries the other day, I came across the current issue of PaintWorks.  The cover feature was a sunflower painting by Debra Henkener done in watercolor.  Inside were step-by-step instructions for the painting process and colors used.  With my love for sunflowers, I decided this would be a great project to get me back on track and get my brushes wet again.

The instructions called for 'toning' the paper with a wash before painting the flower and leaves.  Then the background is painted in deeper tones after the flower is finished.  This process intimidates me a bit because I always feel like I am going to mess up that background and ruin the whole painting.  But one thing I have discovered with watercolor is that it is not quite as unforgiving as one might think.  You can coax and adjust even after the paint is dry.  It requires patience and a light touch, but you can add color and blend and lift till you get the results you want.  I love the look of watercolor paintings where the artist just lays the color down and  goes with whatever 'happy accident' occurs.  And I would love to be that free and uninhibited - but that is just not in my genes!  :)

It was a good project to renew my enthusiasm for the medium.  And I found if I come down to my studio first thing each morning and work at it a little bit each day, I can find the time for what I love.  That is one of the wonderful things about watercolor - you can find a stopping point and then come right back to it the next day.

Here is my finished painting:

As always, thanks for stopping!


  1. Oh Cathy that is just beautiful, what a wonderful bit of artwork, watercolours are so difficult to control and it is a wonderful showcase for your talent. Cx

  2. Thank you, Cathryn! So nice to receive your lovely feedback.

  3. Hi Cathy, wow wow WOW, this is simply stunning! How very beautiful - I absolutely love it. What I wouldn't give to be able to paint like you! WOW! MMx p.s. thanks for all your lovely comments, they mean a lot.

  4. Are you kidding me??? You were intimidated??? Please. You are an Artist!!! This is fabulous, and if you can follow instructions to make it then WOW! That in itself is hard to do! This is so super beautiful!!! I'm so impressed!

  5. Thanks, Anita! Your words mean a lot to me!

  6. Hello again Cathy, just been catching up on all the posts I've been doing this week. Your comment about the mouse made me laugh - IN SYMPATHY - I am TERRIFIED of mice - it's the full Tom and Jerry standing on a chair with my skirt tucked in my knickers if one of the pesky things comes anywhere near me! Hope you find your little visitor soon - UGH! MMx

  7. swinging by after seeing your drawing posted on the Strathmore workshop.

  8. I can only dream of painting like this!


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