This week’s watercolour painting was based on a scene that I saw the day before Christmas Eve. I was taking a less well trodden path into Brighton to do a few last minute festive errands. As I nipped down a road that runs behind St. Nicholas Church the afternoon sun was glinting off the sea, just visible in the distance and creating some wonderful diffused contre-jour light effects. I stopped to take a few photos and was fortunate that a few people passed by, taking a short cut that runs down behind the church so that I could get a selection of images to work from.
I think I must have been totally ‘in the zone’ when I painted this as I can’t actually recall much about it now! I know that I painted it after a few days of traditional Christmas excess – and I do remember how good it felt to be focussing on painting again. I also recall that I was totally engrossed in what I was doing. (I was tempted to title this Cinderalla as that’s what everyone else was engrossed in watching while I painted this).
It was painted pretty quickly but not, I feel, rushed. I tried to pay particular attention throughout to the moisture level of the paper, focussing on what edges I wanted where, sometimes sharp and defined, sometimes soft and suggested. I was also conscious throughout of trying to hold my brushes high up the handle, to try to keep the brushstrokes loose, energetic and expressive. Even when I had occasion to hold the brush a little more closely to the tip – such as painting the figure with their bag of shopping and dog – I still managed to paint with a degree of economy and without tightening up too much.
I’m really pleased with how this turned out. I think I like it all the more because it feels as though it came out of nothing. Well, nothing more than a quick trip to the shops and a bit of paint splashing whilst the family watched a film!
My final post…
As this will be my final post of the year, I feel I ought to express something profound, or at least remotely meaningful. Trouble is, I just don’t think I have it in me. Like so many people around the world I expect, I’m just too shattered. I’ve arrived at the end of 2020 mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. There’s no getting around the fact that 2020 has been an absolute shocker!
In a year during which Covid has cast its increasingly long and dark shadow over everything and everyone, I will remember it forever as the year that I had to say goodbye to my mum, who I loved so dearly.
Even silver linings have felt in short supply this year – but there have been a few. It’s been a year that has reminded me of what I do have, and that I need to appreciate every bit of it! I have my family – which is the bedrock of everything. The picture below is one of my Christmas presents from my daughter, showing the three of us with my mum, aka ‘Gran Kay’ – needless to say I shed a tear or two on opening this!
I also feel fortunate to live in place that I love and which nourishes me in so many ways. And I have my painting, and this blog.
Despite personal loss and grief, a global pandemic and the odd motivational malaise, this is the 52nd weekly post of 2020, and the fifth year in succession* that I’ve posted something – usually a watercolour – every week. My painting, this blog and the people that I’ve met on the way all feel intrinsically linked to me in some way.
Year on year, I continue to see my painting develop and, as much as it can so often frustrate me, it’s become a much more important part of my life than I could ever have imagined. And this blog, the people that follow it , those that interact with it, and anyone that is sufficiently moved to buy my paintings are all part of that ‘importance’ to me. Thank you all so much for being such a large part of what keeps me going, not just through the thick and thin of watercolour painting, but through the thick and thin of life too! Please know that your support makes a world of difference to me.
I wish you all a wonderful New Year and, as we turn our back on 2020, I hope that we can all look forward to a much better, brighter year ahead.
* In 2016 I only posted 48 posts as, at first, I allowed myself the odd break over various holidays!