Madrone Madness #7

Painting #1 on Fabriano 300# 7 x 9 inches

I didn’t plan on painting but when I saw the lighting and I was swept away….again. What can I say? I love to paint. My first two paintings were very rough and my plan of attack was not working. I couldn’t decide how to depict what I wanted and was very divided. I simply sprayed them off and will re-use the paper. The above painting I enjoyed painting the foliage but the trunks seem stiff and awkward. They were as dark as you see, but I wanted more of an artsy look.

painting #2 on Fabriano 300# 7 x 9 inches

This painting was a little easier and I decided to go a little more detailed, at least for me. I can detail the crap out of a painting which is my inclination from the perfectionist me but I don’t let that “me” out of the box too often. When I do, I refuse to go as detailed as the old me use to. It has taken all these years to learn that I don’t enjoy tight and perfection, my left brain does but that is a whole another story.

Learning Points:

  • Let loose, I don’t have to know where the painting and watercolor is leading me.
  • If a painting fails, no problem, spray it off and re-use the paper.
  • Don’t spray too much water into my wells as I found that I ended up with too much water on my brush every time I dipped for fresh paint.
  • Coffee does not work as well as water and I  am sure it doesn’t add the right flavor that I enjoy, not a good idea! Stay aware where I keep the water bucket and my coffee, preferably not close to each other.
  • A good idea to loosen up with sketches and painting prior to serious painting. I always seem to forget this. It takes at least 30 minutes for my brain to coordinate with my eyes and painting hand.
  • Learn to soften edges, hard one for me to let loose and allow watercolor to do its thing, a common denominator with this medium.

52 thoughts on “Madrone Madness #7

  1. dawnmarie

    Both are very pretty. Colorful and artsy whether you meant to or not. I like to blow up the picture on my computer and see all the color deposits in the paper.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. oh good……it wouldn’t matter if too bright because that is the way I roll…..thank you for your input. Hope your painting is going well. I am working on a studio painting and taking my time with it, I can’t wait to see how it goes, watercolor is an absolute adventure….so fun!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I will post the final….maybe include some of the stages. So far it has been magical because I feel like I am there outdoors looking at it and experiencing it. That is the way I want my studio work to be… I am there and if I paint in that attitude, I can convey that to others.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. great learning points Margaret! you use Fabriano paper to its advantage 🙂 the first has such lush color mergings = wonderful magic! the second has superb tonal value structure and design – I really, LOVE this one!!
    Nothing – can improve one’s painting skills as fast and as well –
    as getting OUT, and
    Painting in The wide open fresh AIR!!!!!!!!! 🙂
    You GO Margaret! I am cheering you on 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. So odd, your comments went to my spam folder, I didn’t know they were there until I accidently ran into them. Anyhoo I approved them. So you liked the first one? I think it is rather stiff and not very good. Think I should hang onto it? I was thinking of turning it over and painting on the other side, now I am undecided. Jodi loves it as well. I think that I am wanting to really fine tune my approach and technique and going for gold. 🙂 Yes….Fabriano! love this paper and I am noticing that while I am working slowly on a studio painting of a river scene, that Fabriano slows down my washes and “helps” me to build up my painting. I want everyone to get the paper, it is simply magical! And another yes to painting outdoors. I am noticing that with my studio paintings that all my plein air painting experience is easily pulled into my studio experience. I feel like I am right there painting using my reference photo. Feels like magic….again, paint what you have seen and know even if you haven’t painted outdoors, but it is a huge added bonus if you combine all points. I could go on and on but I’ll soon run out of space. lol

      Liked by 1 person

  3. These are GORGEOUS margaret! That first one JUMPED off the page, and I kinda squealed! Looks like Fall – looks so artistic and free! BRAVO! And love the coffee comment. Who of us hasn’t dipped our brush in our coffee?!?!?!!! 🙂 LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lol….I am thinking of turning that first one over to paint on the other side and whichever is the best painting, wins! Actually I think that it is too rigid and not enough “art” in it aside from the foliage. Coffee and paint….yummy! but separately of course 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Eye On The Prize: Watercolor – debi riley

  5. Have you thought about painting in an art journal? It has really helped me to let go of perfection. Your watercolors ALWAYS draw me in! 💕🎨 So FULL of COLOR and JOY!! 😄🌈 LoVe what you have done here. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Jill! I think that I have to go large to loosen up….it helps for me to paint loosely on 11 x 14 inch or even bigger. An art journal might make me feel confined, but who knows? I did buy a little watercolor journal by Strathmore but I am very picky about my paper and the color seem insipid and just glides around. I am spoiled by my favorite brands, esp. Fabriano.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I had a friend make me a journal with Arches. I don’t think they are too hard to make using the paper you like. I’m a big Fabriano fan too! ❤️😍 Would you like me to show you how to make your own journal? I can post it on my blog. You can make it any size. I like having a place to work that feels like it’s just for me. 😊🎨💕

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Margaret I made my own last summer and posted about it from Arches. If you go to YouTube Cathy Johnson has a great video that shows step by step how to do it. I love her books and that, and since you know Muir,you prob have heard of her too. If you can’t find it, let me know, and I’ll get it for you. Very easy and you may really love it.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, I think the day must have been so beautiful, I can picture the day so well from the first one, which I love, please don’t wash it off, I don’t think the trees look too stiff, the colours are stunning, the day looks perfect. I really really like the first, but I guess in your head it was not meant to be like this, which is why you feel disappointed….leave it for a month or so, then take a look at it, you will have forgotten your original intentions by then, as will see it with less judgemental eyes…hopefully, shut that other side of your brain away!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with you….I have been letting out that inner critic in me for so long that I can’t judge properly. My blog here and you all has helped me so much, I can’t tell you how much! I have disvalued my work for so long that I hardly ever gave myself a break. I will set it aside and look at it with fresh eyes, good idea. It was a perfect day and I forgot to say what time I painted. I usually paint early light and I didn’t get started till 9 am and I finished up about 11 am! that is very late for me. I think fall lighting is in the air because it was hazy and so beautiful. Thank you so much Rebecca for your input, I really appreciate it. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally get the being harsh on ourselves, and getting into blogging has been the best thing I could have done, also, everyone has brought me on in leaps and bounds, in painting and attitude, it’s a long hill to climb….oh sorry mountain! With many sharp ridges, but we can get over them, even if it means walking on the ridges at the same level for a while, when the sun is blocked by the boulders, we have to just keep looking up high to see the light. ❤️❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  7. You should do what you think is best but that top painting gave me the feeling of looking way up at the gorgeous leaves moving into autumn. Since I hate heat and love fall,this is a wonderful feeling to have! I just love your colors, I wouldn’t change them one speck,totally agree with Rebecca. Boy you are in love with your trees and it shows, my friend! Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Connie Karleta Sales

    The moment I saw Painting #1 I thought to myself, “oh, the light is so beautiful!” Then I giggled as I read how you were swept away by the light. From a painting/drawing perspective I actually thought the mid- bottom part of the trunks, lyrically portrayed the light magically. From a technical perspective, where the trunks fall off for me is at the top. Where as the bottom half feels confident and purposeful, bold; the top feels less attentive. That being said, it does not negate the overall image for me. As I stated before I ever read what you were attracted too, I was struck by the dancing light in your painting. I too hope you keep setting it aside and allow it to simply be, so that you can discover more about it. I read in another post you were committed to drawing more, and I believe the simple practice of observation will naturally solve your disappointment with the tree trunks. Thank you for sharing. You have a honest way of sharing your work and your process. I enjoy it. Being new to WordPress, I did not realize the “community” here. I was simply creating my website, and am finding such cool people and things! Take Care, and happy painting! CKS

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Connie for your comments, I love hearing feedback, I learn so much. I think on that first painting I was up in the leaves playing with the color, light and birds, no wonder it doesn’t have enough “sit down reality” I think sometimes I veer onto the whimsy of painting. Those tree trunks are in actuality small and close to one another and as I was painting them, I was trying not to allow them to touch and yet convey that light… I was painting, I had a stiff painting hand and muttering…..”no! no! don’t mess with me…..don’t touch!” lol kidding aside, yes, drawing more would help, that is for certain. My problem as of yet, painting grabs my attention first because I love it so much, I will have to discipline myself a bit because I stick to that plan. By the way, welcome to WP! there is a fine community here. 🙂


  9. janina (jmnowak via my phone)

    Well Margaret, it is a month or more. I hope you have decided to keep painting #1 as it is a delight to the eyes. Fresh. Breezy morning. Dappled yet brilliant light. Soft autumnal colours. Nothing stiff about it! 😎

    Liked by 1 person

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