Saturday, September 23, 2006

Playing with Paint

I took a watercolour painting class about a year and a half ago. It was a six-week class to learn the basics. I liked the instructor. She was very kind and encouraging. I signed up with a friend and we had a lot of fun dabbling with paint. I made this painting from a photograph of one of my favorite spots on earth: Chesterman Beach at Tofino on Vancouver Island.

When the instructor announced that she was giving an all-day workshop on the basics of abstract painting in acrylics, I decided to give that a try too.

This started out as a copy of a photograph and then went far away from the photograph. I discovered that I paint in layers, changing things each time, until I get a sense that it is finished. Then I stop.

What I like about this one is that it changes when you turn it in different directions.

Most of my paintings don't have titles. They usually come out of things I've seen that catch me a certain way.

Or from sketches that I've made

Or from moods that I am in

I call the above painting "Knocking on Heaven's Door." There is a much darker muddier version from when I was in a different mood.

The idea for this one came from a sermon I heard a friend of mine preach. He was talking about the passage where the sick woman reaches out to touch Jesus' robe as he was passing by. This image came into my head, and I quickly sketched it out. I do not consider myself talented at depicting realistic things very well, and this was my first attempt to capture something specific.

I sketched this at a time of genuine despair. It is done in coloured chalk on a large sketch pad. It says exactly what I was feeling.

But when I translated it into a painting, it ended up saying something quite different than I was expecting. When I look at this, I see the woman who had been in despair, now turning her face up toward the light. That too said exactly what I was feeling. I know that this one is not really finished, but I don't know where to go with it, so I've stopped for now.

I love to paint, but I am not always in the mood. It comes and goes. I have a few paintings going on inside me these days, so I'll probably be getting set up to do another one. I've noticed that I tend to knit either in colours that I like to wear or in colours that I like to paint. The last painting was the back-drop for those two skeins of Fleece Artist I posted about (Bright Lights Big Knitty).

I had no idea that I even liked to paint until I took that course, and I am very surprised at what has happened since. If this makes you think that you'd like to try it too, then I say: Go for it! You just never know what's in you until you let it out.


CatBookMom said...

The watercolor is lovely. The trees look like Norfolk pines, and IMO it's quite well done. The 3rd painting makes me think of Escher's drawings. The sketch and its resulting painting say a lot of things; I will be back to look at them often, I think. Thank you for sharing your art with us.

Della said...

Your lake watercolor is powerful, at least for me!! I've gone back to look at it repeatedly. It looks so real, yet not like a photo. It's like a bright moonlight night on a lake, both peaceful and gripping. I almost want to hold my breath to listen for the night sounds I remember on the lake when I was a child. The "picture of despair" is also Very expressive! Thank you for sharing!

Nicole said...

Jayne, your are a talented lady! Your paintings are very impressive. I love Tofino. Your use of all those grey is very nice. I really like the sick woman and Jesus also, very good mouvement in it.But my favorite has to be despair, the lines are so beautiful, with wonderful negative space. Your are talented inded. Nicole

Vamanta said...

Wowza, Jayne! Love your impressionist work a lot. Is there no end to your talents?

Vamanta said...

Wowza, Jayne, your impressionist style is fabulous. Is there no end to your talents?

Vamanta said...

Sorry about the double post! Blogger is wacky today.