When we went to Hawaii last year, I took hundreds of photos of the koi ponds. It is one of the MOST relaxing pastimes…just sitting and watching those koi’s play. I did only one sketch of them in the time we were there, but I took hundreds of photos and for the rest of the time, I just stared at them.
I’m on the “search” lately, not knowing exactly where I should go art wise. There so many different directions that give me joy and I’d like to continue doing them all, but I would also like to accelerate in a specific field…not be so all over the place as I am currently. As the weather is a bit bad lately and it is raining a lot, chances to go and do plein air are scarce. I was looking through my Hawaii albummorning and came across these koi photos and the joy of sitting there and watching them(in the SUN!!) had me take them all to the atelier. This is my latest. I want to do some koi paintings, eventually in oil, but first some studies in watercolor, which to me is a far more difficult medium than oil.
Also posted on Watermarks.
All these studies done in pen and watercolor on Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper, CP, 18x26cm.
…koi study in watercolor 7…
A prerequisite for the koi paintings, is that I want movement in the paintings. So I tried in all of the watercolor studies to get movement. These studies are of course done from photographs, something I strurggle with doing, because I get caught up in a tight clenching mode and lose all spontaneity. So I decided to put my earphones on and I listened to Beethovens piano concerto nos 4 and 5 and Piano a la Roque d’Antheron with works by Lizt, Chopin Rachmaninoff…to keep me “allegretto and crecsendo“. I think it did work, because looking at these studies, they almost come across as messy and I certainly hope not “tight”, except maybe for number three(koi watercolor 2) which was before I started listening to the music. You’ll clearly see that I still drew and painted “fishy by fishy”. I did 7 studies, and like with everything else…I started getting better. but now I’m tired of watercolor and going to start doing the koi in oil…let’s say a little serie of koi in oils.
…koi study in watercolor 4…
…koi study in watercolor 2…
Now I also need to find a place where I can really study them…their movements( a year ago is too long to remember those kinds of details), their behavior, their mischief and play and capture that onto live sketches. then come back to the studio and NOT procrastinate again, like I’m SO famous for, but paint them immediately.
So, if you’re interested in seeing these koi develop..remember to stop by again!
We had snow yesterday. Not very normal for us to have snow and so much of it, so it’s a big thing. Even bigger for me…what does a South African know about snow? I know when an elephant is going to charge… Last night at nine I even drove to the train station in the snow, forgot a little bit about brakes and speed when I got to the roundabout and slid “gently” into the curb. No problems, I was the only fruitcake out there. Off to the train station again early this morning, better equipped with common sense and humility and even dared turning off to buy a fish or two. I wanted to paint fish on this beautiful snowy day, inspired by Jeanette’s fish and then Katherine’s fish a while ago. I skidded home (safely) and took out those fish.
From top to bottom: Dorade grise, Truite rose, Sardine bretonne. Done in watercolour and pen on Fabriano artistico HP.
…found in the snow…
Yesterday I had a crazy craving for pineapple. I bought whichever ones I could find…the sweet small Victoria pineapple from South Africa, the big fat watery one, produced in Costa Rica, coming from Miami???… and lastly the heavy, juicy one from the Ivory coast. Of course I had to paint them. My light pencil drawing was fine and I started putting in washes. Arriving at the spiky leaves, all went horribly wrong. And from there it on it was downhill all the way. Finally I threw the paintbrush out the door, flew out of my atelier, jammed a cup of coffee together, grabbed a canvas and plastered it with modeling paste and a painting knife. Halfway through the oil painting, and eventually simmered down, I turned to my watercolour and thought I might as well finish it by simply pulling out all the stops, I have nothing to lose. So here is the final messy watercolour….. the oil painting is still drying.
Watercolour on Fabriano artistico HP extra white block, 30,5×45,5cm (12″x18″)
Afterwards I even had some time to put a recipe together…and eat it all. Interested in Pineapple carpaccio with saffron syrup and roasted pinenuts?
September/October is time for Foire aux vins in France. Time to refill those empty spaces in the wine cellar. Try out new wines, restock on old favourites. I enjoy a good red wine. But most of all, I enjoy the grapes. My favourites being Muscat(dark) and Chasselas(green). So I’ll have the grapes now and save the wine for later.
…let there be wine…
Sabre à champagne – a tradition dating from the Napolean empire. Coming back from a battle, the cavalry would pay tribute to victory, vigour, virility and of course…women, by opening up bottles of champagne with theatrical flaunt and flare. The cold bottle is held at the bottom and with a swift movement of the sable from bottom to the neck, the “cork is popped” right under the rim. A clean chop, leaving no shattered glass.
(Edit: I just realized how crooked this sword looks with the completely “off” shadow under the blade! Yes, I confess. I held the sword in my hand and thus cheated on “seeing” the shadow on the surface…now that says a lot for competence…and I didn’t have a single sip!)
Some fancy bottle openers are available today. The most efficient and quickest still remains the “couteau de sommelier“, which is the all-in-one every “garcon” (waiter) walks around with in his pocket.
And how about a decanter for aged wines to separate from their deposits, or a carafe for a young wine to “breathe”
…”1 2 3 breathe!, 1 2 3 breathe”…
I did intend to do more sketches showing the fun of the Foire aux vins, but laziness got the better of me. I think I’ll just stick to finishing the grapes I’ve sketched and open a Pomerol with dinner tonight.
Sketches done in pen and watercolour on Fabriano artistico block, 22×29, 5cm.