Monday, November 01, 2004


I am taking a watercolors class. I have ALWAYS wanted to learn how to paint. I've always been creative, I do crocheting and needlework, and drawing, but in abstracts. I've always thought that I've had some creative, artistic ability, but I just needed a little guidance. I could never do anything REAL, I can't draw anything real. I can do abstract, some cartoons, but real... never. And I've always wanted to learn the techniques for drawing and painting etc. Never had the time. So this summer, I found an Extended Studies class at Norwalk Community College that was a non credit course, part of their "Lifestyles" Program. It was like $90 for 6 weeks. I wanted to get myself out of the house more and meet peoples in CT so I signed up. YAY! I love it. I love being creative and artistic. And Watercolors are an "Unpredictable Medium" as George, my teacher, says. So it's good therapy, teaching me to be less of a perfectionist. I need that.

I thought tonight I'd share some of my paintings.

This was the first watercolor I did in this class. I was SO PROUD! Now I kinda laugh. I did have a good graded wash sky, which really was the aim of the exercise.

This was the first painting I did that I was happy with the way it came out. The sky was great, the clouds, etc.

This one was taken from this photograph.

This was sunrise from the South Street Seaport the morning of the AVON walk last year.

Here's my version of a view at the Dead Sea. It's hard to see in the photograph, but I love the detailing that worked out in the salt pillars, and how it reflected in the surf. I don't think I could reproduce that picture if I tried. Like George says, watercolors are unpredictable. :)

Mountain and lake. I think my sky was awesome here, again, hard to see in the picture, and it looks more real because I was learning about the reflection, and how to pull the paint down from the mountain into the water. :)

Which I think may be better seen in the next project I did, the windmills. :) With this one I learned that strokes parallel to the paper don't give movement, you have to work at angles to bring the pictures to life. Note the curved/slanted yellow in the sky. Also the angles of the windmill wings. Plus, I learned that you should reproduce the sky with the same colors, shapes etc. in the water. I suppose this may be common sense to some, but for me I've always worked in abstract art/drawings etc or I've done needlework and crocheting which is all set out in patterns for you. So to draw or paint something real and make it look lifelike, or make it "move," is really new to me. Simple things have astounded me in this class. I love it.

Not my best, the trees are too uniform in color to make it look real but this was my first real success with a nature scene and not a sky/sunset. It was also a challenge to layer the colors and let things drybefore I started something else so the colors didn't get too muddied. And the grass blades with the "rigger brush" was a new technique too. :)

My Watercolor of Wendy's Outhouse. Why paint an outhouse? Well it was a good picture! Lots of greenery, and with a flowerbox too! And a challenge for detailing for me. Details while using the concept of less is more. Or one of George's favorites, "Everything in moderation, including moderation."

This one took me almost 4 hours to do, and it was coming out amazingly well until I dropped the brush with red paint on the greenery below the flowerbox and it got all muddied when I tried to fix it. but it's ok. I'm going to try again, and it's a good exercise for me, a good one to try to do in all seasons. George did one of it with all flowers and trees surrounding it, more color. And it would be pretty Autumn one to do.

This dove is one of my most recent, and most difficult projects. I am SO PROUD of this painting. It is REALLY HARD!!! I have since done several of the same one trying to perfect it. The color blending is not so hard, its getting the city to look right and getting the whole thing to blend together with all the different elements thats hard. I'll try to take some pictures of all the different ones I've done and post them so you can compare the differences. It's so amazing that I've done 4 or 5 of the same picture and they ALL look different.

So there you have it. A progression of some of the watercolors I've done. I've learned so much about light and color and values, and shading and painting and even drawing. Not so bad for only a few months. I enjoy it. :) And I enjoy sharing so I'll keep posting more as I do more. I'll also post some time some of the black and white ink abstracts I do. Those are cool. Started doing them in class to keep myself busy when the professors rambled. But aother story for another time, this entry is long enough. Enjoy! Have a good eeeeevening! And SMILE!!!


Rob Cole said...

Awesome blog entry! Wendy put it on her blog. Love you, see you later, xoxxxoxxoxo. Rob.

Anonymous said...

Carie-I love your watercolor paintings and I so proud of you that you are taking this up. You must have the artistic genes in the family. Sorry that you got so sick after your trip--that sux. You and Rob are very talented at taking pictures--especially the black and white ones. I just read your blog for the first time and I liked your note from your former patient. You do make a difference! I miss not seeing you more :)
Love, your cousin Faith

Rozanne said...

Those are beautiful paintings! I *cannot* believe that this is the first time you've picked up a paintbrush. Really outstanding for a first effort. Thanks for posting them.

angel said...

nice paintings...I really feel this. A woman painting is always an angel with a brush, spreading colours in the sky.

angel said...
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angel said...
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Anonymous said...

Carie - loved your watercolors. Compared to my Aunt Sarah's work after a number of years of formal study, these show great talent!! Saved your blog on my favorites. Much better to view this art than listen to the pundits say a lot of nothing while the election results are still coming in. Even out here in the PST, I'm going to go to sleep and still not know. Let's hope.