"Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can." - Danny Kaye
Saturday, June 5, 2010
The Spirit of the Gulf, and Shadow Shot Sunday
5-1/4" x 13" watercolor on yupo.
Needle-billed, needle-legged, Companions all.
Race with the tide, With the pendulum Sway of the moon's baton In the glorious sun.
Or one-legged, stand In the shallows between Beach and sea, Earth and sun.
Glorious blue. Glorious sun. Needle-billed, needle-legged, Together stand. Together run. Companions all.
My contribution to the Spirit of the Gulf Challenge is a painting of the small birds found at the edge of the gulf (and of all of our beaches), and a poem.
Suzanne McDermott challenged "every artist who receives this invitation to make one drawing, painting, collage — or to use whatever medium you work in — to create a piece of beauty with love and gratitude to honor some scene or living being in the Gulf."
Thank you to Barbara Weeks, who was kind enough to invite me to participate in this challenge.
Lately I have found it hard to think of the Gulf without grief, anger, or a feeling of helplessness. I am sad for the potential loss to the birds and habitat that I have grown to love and feel so bad for Louisiana and Mississippi who have had more than their share of misfortune. I am angry that man would be so arrogant as to build a well that he could not control and to lie all the while to the rest of us about how safe it all is. And I feel helpless .. as we all feel helpless.
I have been very concerned about my State, and especially about what happens if (or when) the oil attacks the pristine Keys or defaces my beloved South Florida. I worry about a hurricane lifting the oil from the Gulf, and raining it across my State.
So I am grateful to have been invited to depict "some living aspect of the Gulf of Mexico before the oil disaster." It has been cathartic, in a way, to think of the Gulf beaches as I know them, without the looming threat.
I decided to be loose with this one. I have been wanting to try Yupo (an extremely smooth paper with a feel like posterboard) for ages, and decided this was to be the project. And to completely throw caution to the wind, I taped the Yupo to a board on an easel, so that it was almost completely upright when I painted.
The first thing I noticed was that wash would not go on smooth, but was uneven. This made it interesting. And since the paper had no teeth it would drip and run, as I had hoped. Then I found that you can actually wipe chosen portions of the paper clean of paint, also as I had hoped. In fact you had to be careful. Sometimes it was too easy to wipe too much (or all!) I also found that if I used drybrush, I could target areas for more accurate rendering, but mostly I was too impatient yesterday to continue using drybrush. I made liberal use of wiping and blotting with some interesting results.
In short, I loved the experience. The loose, runny watercolor on Yupo was like running through a waterfall with hands raised, whooping and hollering! So, thanks again, Barbara.
It is my pleasure to invite the following artists to participate in the challenge, if you'd like. For the rules, go to Suzanne McDermott's blog here.
(5) All of you. You don't need to be connected to the Gulf in any way to feel the impact of this man-made disaster, or to love nature and feel the pain of this violation. I am cordially inviting every reader of this blog to participate, if you care to.
Swerving along the artistic road with every sight a potential target. * * * If you'd like to contact me about any of the art that you see - about purchases, commissions or just to say hello - feel free to email me at email@example.com. I'd love to hear from you!