Tuesday, February 10, 2009
The Yellow House
I've noticed that I've been rather selective about what I blog about. You may even think I live in the the woods and while artistic licence may make a legitimate defense the truth as usual is more complicated.
Art is not all about following the muse, although we may like to think so. It is also the sum of the environment we live in; social, emotional and physical, whether we like it or not.
So I thought I would try a series of watercolours of my immediate neighbourhood. This is partly for practical reasons. My highly stylized coloured pencil pieces require a peculiar and often elusive spark of something (let's call it the muse) so I wanted a project on hand for those other days when I'm feeling less imaginative. In this case, I can work from photograph and attempt to capture, more or less, the same thing that you would see from a similar vantage point. It allows me to give my inner eye a rest and work on some technique at the same time. I'm still not entirely comfortable with watercolours and thought that doing reasonable facsimiles of an agreed upon reality would be very good practice. Thirdly, and not least, as I walk through my neighbourhood, I realize I would like to share it with you, and the discipline of doing this through watercolour will be more than useful.
This is the Yellow House.
It is, in some ways, typical of the neighbourhood, and yet there is no other house exactly like it. This is the sort of thing that attracted me to the area in the first place. Every house has its own character; some are big, some are small, some quite posh, others modest. And while even the smallest ones can shine with pride, others are visibly returning to earth from which they came. I don't know the status of the Yellow House but the snow has not been removed from the porch, dead wood decorates the yard and shrub trees run rampant up the sides. It could be someones summer home or it could be a neglected piece of equity. I'm not sure why I'm starting with this one, but I like to look at it as I pass by. It rubs right up against an architectural monolith that sports seven bathrooms, and snuggles up to a recently abandoned horse farm that sprawls behind it. The farm itself bears tragic story and may have some bearing on the mood of the piece.
Image: 8"x10" watercolour. And I could use your advice. Our community is generously lashed with telephone and powerlines that dominate the views in just about every direction. I wanted to paint them in, but my husband thinks not. It all depends, do I want a pretty picture, or do I want to capture the scene. On the other hands, framing with poles and lines may simply be too distracting. So, hey, what do you think?