©2015 Joy Makon. Not to be reproduced without permission.

Magnolia Plaza

Beauty comes and goes so quickly at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

At this time of year, each day brings new blossoms and all the gardens I pass change shape daily. So it is at Brooklyn Botanic Garden where the softly fragrant magnolias are one of the earliest to burst out in front of this elegant beaux arts building. Spring fervor is all the evidence I need to understand that there is a larger presence in the universe. By now most of the star magnolia blooms are gone until next year; the sweet-bay magnolia waits until June to open and I’ll be back to check it out.

True to form—my form, that is—lots of seasonal distractions such as visiting the Garden, planting pansies in windowboxes, purchasing dahlias and ipomoea and begonias for later on, and going on photo walks in the park, have been keeping me away from the studio too often. This painting took forever to finish, but there were good excuses for the delay—including yesterday’s trip to Coney Island so that I could dip my feet into the ocean.

Like all good things when it comes to painting, this piece has its merits. I made peace with masking techniques while learning to embrace an old-school Speedball pen nib to work with the watercolor paint. The next painting is in the works, probably of the Japanese azaleas in my Brooklyn Backyard, and I see exactly how useful that pen is going to be.

May 2015
Watercolor
Arches cold press, 300 lb, 14″ x 21″

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This entry was published on May 9, 2015 at 10:05 am. It’s filed under Brooklyn Backyard, Home, landscape, Spring, watercolor and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

7 thoughts on “Magnolia Plaza

  1. Another beautiful piece from Joy. Just like having a spring window open and chase fresh air into this room! 😀

  2. I wish I could have painted that – it’s amazing, so much detail.

  3. This is utterly totally beautiful!! And those wonderful magnolias! 🙂 I love how all the colors are popping out of the paper. How have you managed that particular shade of purple in the stained glass window? How I wished you had put up the how-to process when I read about you making ‘peace’ with masking fluid. I am absolutely at a loss on how to handle masking fluid properly. It just blobs down in tiny boulder-like chunks for me with no finesse at all. 😦

    • Joy Makon on said:

      Hi Malvika, thank you for your encouraging and nice comment on this painting. I like to use masking fluid rather watered down and applied with a “speedball” pen nib, the sort you would use for calligraphy. Thinning the fluid…as you use it, not as a large batch, works the best for me. I dip the pen nib in fluid, then in water, then in fluid again. Wipe it off slightly to avoid a “blob” and then apply it. Experiment and you’ll find that you can water the fluid down a lot more than one would think, and it still works. I use Windsor Newton removable fluid.

  4. I think this is my fav! I really am drawn by the softness of your color palette. The dreamy quality of spa like colors is so appealing. Like Malvika, I would love to see your masking fluid approach in operation. It’s tricky “stuff.” Sometimes I succeed, other times not so much. Congrats on this glorious painting!

    • Joy Makon on said:

      masking fluid is very much a love/hate thing. I really found the metal pen nibs to be the best way to control the stuff, just need to thin it down. Thanks Marian!

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