Watercolour Still Life
I’m flipping between projects this week as usual. I’m still in watercolour mode but also fitting in more machine patchwork between painting sessions. The scrap quilt is growing quite quickly but I can’t resist the lure of my paintbox so it’s great to be able to multitask. You need to picture me in my studio as I paint the first layers of colour of the fruit and then scoot my office chair across to my machine to make a quilt block while that paint dries. I knew there was a great reason to have a chair with wheels!
It’s easy to find inspiration for the painting – I love to surround myself with lovely things even if they aren’t particularly precious or valuable. Many people might think my collections are somewhat eccentric (I won’t share the weird things) but they give me joy whenever I see them. What better things could there be to include in my paintings? The fruit bowl is a very ordinary dish we found on a bric-a-brac stall at the local market. It is huge and holds such a lot of fruit. The shallow black bowl behind it is papier mache decorated with birds and rich pattern. We’ve had that for years and I can’t quite remember where it came from but I love it. It normally lives on the mantlepiece next to the carved wooden crocodile with the poppy seed heads in the blue troika pot alongside. I bought that pot for £6 nearly sixty years ago before it became collectable. Simple pleasures!
I thought the twiggy stems of the bunch of grapes were more interesting than the grapes themselves, which is lucky because there were more of them as I munched on the fruit while painting. It’s a good job watercolour is quicker than oils as they won’t keep much longer! I hope you can see the effect of letting one layer of paint dry before adding a second wash of colour. I’m not attempting complete realism with my paintings. Whilst I obviously want things to be recognisable as what they are, what I really want to achieve is to let the paints speak for themselves. Working wet onto dry stops the colours blending and creates the lovely edges that I like. The initial paint is wet into wet for general overall colour, that’s allowed to dry and then more washes added wet onto dry. You can understand why a second activity like quilting is such a good idea. Without my patchwork to divert me I’d end up fiddling too much with the paint.
I thought I’d finish this post with a picture of the stack of finished blocks waiting to be added to the quilt top. I’ve got about a dozen here but you can see from the heap of strips I still have a way to go before I’m done. I’ll keep you posted.
Thanks for dropping by. Linda x