My barrier island is deceptive. It looks like nothing is there. Wide open spaces, plenty of sky, and muddy grey puddles on the leaward side. It looks calm. Idylic. Don't be fooled. It is teeming with life. Sharks swim in the water. Trout, redfish, and shrimp are plentiful. The grasses are full of redwinged blackbirds singing their song. The sand bears tracks of racoons. Pelicans fly overhead. I was told there were not many alligators anymore...somehow that was a relief. Sitting alone on a log drawing. Could have been a tasty lunch.
This is a place at the edges. Part sky, part water, part land. It has hidden treasures. Unexpected wonders. And danger lurks. It is at once peaceful and violent, as prey meets predator. So color needs to be subtle, yet speak of tension too. Why don't I just paint it? Just jump right in? Why all this exploring?
Ahh, remember, it's more of a story. I am after that core. I am trying to pretend I know nothing about this place, so I can see it with fresh eyes. I even hauled out David Dewy's book on watercolor. Me with all my professional experience, yep, looking with beginner's mind. Why? Freshness. No same old, same old. I am after what I don't know, or what I can tweak in another way. I never want to be stagnant, afraid, or rest on my credentials. That is boring. No breakthroughs to be had there. If I am good at what I do, something cool will happen. Why bother otherwise? And that sparkle in my eye...well keeping that is important.
So I am looking for subtle color that belongs to this place in particular. Color that has to be there. I want to strip away all other colors so you will know, ahh, she's been there, seen its essence, and now she makes it glow.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Posted by Janice C. Cartier at 6:48 AM