A watercolour painting of the interior of The Good Companions by artist John Haywood

The absence of friends – watercolour painting

This watercolour painting is based on the interior of one of my local pubs, The Good Companions:

The absence of friends

This feels like a deeply ironic name for a pub at a time when venues like this are strictly off limits! In the debate of what came first, the chicken or the egg, I don’t know if it was the ‘absence of friends’ that led me to this subject, or if it was painting this subject that led me to think about the absence of friends.

Either way – it’s fair to say that I’ve recently been missing time spent in the company of friends. Catching up, chatting, putting the world to rights, talking nonsense, reminiscing, laughing and, sometimes not saying anything at all, but just enjoying time shared in the company of dear friends, with whom words aren’t always necessary.

This table is one of three or four tables set in a little nook in The Good Companions. I’ve spent many a happy hour sat in here with various friends and really look forward to when I might be able to do so again!

I did also come across this quote that helped to balance out, or rather bring some poetic perspective to my absent friends:

Friends, though absent, are still present

Marcus Tullius Cicero

But enough of my moping! – What about the painting!?

Personally, I’m pretty pleased with how this one turned out. I took a few liberties with some of the colours but my main focus was on capturing the light flooding into the room. I think I’m mostly pleased with the mix of different edges, the energy of the brushstrokes and the colour harmony that make up the painting. It certainly evokes for me one of the places that I like to sit at, even if it is missing the vital elements of me and my friends!

Jeremiah Goodman

As this week’s painting is an interior, it seems appropriate to highlight an artist only I’ve recently been introduced to – Jeremiah Goodman (October 22, 1922 – September 7, 2017).

I can’t quite recall how this introduction came about – but I’m so pleased it did! Jeremiah Goodman specialised in capturing the interiors of the rich and famous and the great and the good. For almost 20 years, he created the cover illustrations for the American published Interior Design magazine. I’m sure that many people will recognise the distinctive style of his paintings if not specific interiors.

It’s wonderful gain a glimpse in this video of his approach to painting:

A short video clip of Jeremiah Goodman at work

I know that he’s not painting in pure watercolour, but I love seeing those initial applications, using a sponge to apply the paint and block in the main shapes. There’s also no doubting his drawing skills too! I’ve really enjoyed acquainting myself with some of this work and also trying to unpick a little about what makes his work so compelling.

For anyone also wishing to delve any further, there is a Jeremiah Goodman Instagram account, Facebook page and website that are all worth a good peruse.

Thoughts on The absence of friends – watercolour painting

6 thoughts on “The absence of friends – watercolour painting”

  1. Pingback: Vaccination watercolour paintings

  2. Pingback: Kitchen light – watercolour

  3. Great sense of light but I miss the ash-trays; imagine how that blue haze could have picked out the light streaming in. Those were the days – artistically speaking, of course.

  4. I have been a fan of Jeremiah Goodman for a while now. I think that he passed away last year or? I truly appreciate your painting. The colors and lighting but especially the feeling of “absence”. I suppose that I can’t relate to the lack of interaction with people since the pandemic started. I suppose that is revealing of my life in general. Though I do miss not being able to see my daughters and grandchildren. Hopefully soon things will change. Cheers!

    1. Hi Margaret and thanks for this. I think JG passed away in 2017 (leaving behind an amazing body of work!) It’s very rare that I’m tempted away from pure watercolours but seeing his work… who knows, maybe one day! Glad that the pandemic isn’t affecting you to badly on this particular level – though missing out on precious time with family is perhaps even more frustrating. Hopefully there’s a few glimmers of light beginning to appear!

I'd love to hear any thoughts you have about this

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