The October color at Storm King is something to remember
Admittedly, this is a distraction-filled time time of year and I am a sucker for the glittery lights and sugary holidaze treats that are all around. I don’t get to spend as much time in the studio as I would like, so I am happy when I get to paint these shocking reds and golds from a fall visit to Storm King Art Center. The color just explodes in ways that ordinary tubes of paint can never represent well. To capture the vivid hues I placed complimentary colors adjacent to each other so that the cools made the hots more intense. It’s basic color wheel theory that makes for a pretty painting, although the challenge with watercolor is to keep colors clean and avoid mixing mud on the palette.
While it’s certainly the colors that excite me and lift my spirits, it’s also the memory of that day trip to Storm King that keeps me energized. It was a crisp, cold October day—I remember wearing several layers plus hat and gloves—and now that it is almost winter in New York City, the spring-like temperatures we’ve been having have even confused the trees. Yesterday I spotted several cherry trees and lilacs in bloom at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Until El Niño figures out that it is December and not April, I will keep painting like it is October. The cold will hit soon enough and we’ll all be complaining.
Arches cold press, 300 lb, 21.5″ x 14.25″
BOOK REVIEW Just Add Watercolor (Watson-Guptill Publications) Author Helen Birch has created this sweet postcard-sized book that is filled with tips and techniques that will appeal to anyone looking for creative inspiration. Traditional watercolor topics—the use of phthalo green, compositions with negative space, high-key colors, for example—will provide the beginner with the chance to become familiar with materials and methods. Chapters on gouache, digital techniques, mixed media, other water-based media, and non-paper media introduce more advanced painters to applications that encourage experimentation and go beyond just paint on paper. Each topic takes up just one spread and is accompanied by a full-page piece of artwork by a contemporary water-media artist. This isn’t a book for a true beginner to learn the basics, but for the painter with a little experience and those looking to kick their technique up a notch. Paired with a nice watercolor brush or a small set of paints, this would make a lovely gift. Learn more about this book here. I received this book from Blogging For Books for this review.