May 7, 2017:
Henry's Fork Greenway, South Trail.
Kara and I enjoy the local greenway trail and sometimes get carried away watching the wildlife and forget to get out the camera and the paints. We've been waiting for a beautiful day like this but the weather has been so unpredictable we find we are the only artists out on the trail today. As we hike along we see many ducks and geese who quack and honk and Kara spies a beaver swimming along the river bank headed to his lodge. We think this makes a suitable spot to set up and we get our kits out.
We are both working in watercolor today but have selected very different scenes to paint. Kara's painting on 8X10 cold press and composes the river bank and the dead falls from the beaver. I know I want to work small and fast to study and practice how to create water that looks like it is rippled and flowing, so I tape up two small 5x7s. I paint the small island across the way with the grassy banks which are just starting to turn green. Not long after I start I am not pleased with the way things are turning out. I know I need to follow the process and see it through to it's end but sometimes a painting is just a failure. But I don't loose heart. Art is a learning process and when we learn from our failures it puts us one step closer to being where we want to be. I spend my time working on the second painting, and use it as a study of water and how the light moves off fast moving surfaces. This is a lot of fun and I work it until it is overworked. Another failure? Yes, and no. It is not a painting that I can frame and sell, but I learned a lot today about reporducing believable water in watercolor.