Posting this image after returning from Robert Wood Johnson Hospital is oxymoronic, yet in many ways quite appropriate, though only a very few, older folks might understand.

Pumpkin Disguised as Female Nude

The phone rang at 2 pm….

Sad news.

I stopped working on my new website and drove to the hospital.  KLA and I met when we were eleven years old.  Our friendship was sporadic, but true.  As I sat holding her hand, alone for an hour, I focused on the better memories.  I let go of her hand to draw her … a drawing I will never post.  I held her hand again.  When the nurse asked me leave, I said bid farewell.

The plug will be pulled at 5 pm tomorrow evening.

She would have liked this post.  She was an amazing photographer who lost track of the path she once walked.

Image: Watercolor and pastel

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The initial watercolor sketch

The abstract directional forces of the little sketch appeals to me.  I wanted to play with it using totally different colors that stayed within the values but steered clear of green.

While sitting in the waiting room for my pre-surgery testing this morning I read several more pages of Charles W. Hawthorne’s Hawthorne on Painting.  He constantly writes about “spots of color”.  He says to “Draw as little as is compatible with your conscience — put down spots of color.  Seeing things as silhouettes is drawing — the outline of your subject against the background, the outline and size of each spot of color against every other spot of color it touches, is the only kind of drawing you need bother about.  If you do that faithfully you will be surprised at the result.  Think in color, think in color volume.”  I don’t totally agree, but I like the direction his thoughts push me in.

Playing with spots of color

I decided to play with the composition.  Hawthorne is referring to en plein air painting.  This experiment was done in the studio and there was no attempt at matching color spot against color spot.  I was simply playing with color and spots.

Though the little sketch has unsolved problems, I will move on.  the skeleton of the compositional design still intrigues me and I am going to develop it further.  I lost some lights in the second sketch and attempted to retrieve them with a bit of pastel.

I had a great time playing with it.

One more pastel squiggle ……

"Lily" Pastel

I’ve opted to post another of the Floral squiggles rather than the watercolor sketches of the giant cedar tree that is challenging me at the moment.

Older work:

"Lily" pastel on paper

Several years ago I was asked to create a series of floral pieces using pastel.  It was winter.  I had no choice but to work from photographs.  Usually I would block in large areas and work boldly with the pastels.  I find I am a bit more restrained when working on commissioned or requested pieces.  I created all six floral pieces using a slow, meditative technique similar to my ink squiggle drawings.

I had forgotten about these pieces until I was going through old files last week.  No wonder the squiggle technique felt so familiar to me.

"Gladiola" pastel on paper