Sunday, July 25, 2010

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York on a very hot and humid summer day. I believe that there is to be a full moon tonight. It is my hope that before that moon rises, we might also have a quick, cooling thunderstorm.
The clouds are gathering and the wind is up. This is the July afternoon weather pattern. What usually happens is that the rain is pushed eastward to Connecticut. We have actually had very little rain. Those areas east of us have had all sorts of dramatic storms, near-tornadoes, fallen trees, power outages, etc. We just stay hot and sticky.
And so, let me stop fixating on this weather and show you a very out of focus photo of a beautiful flower arrangement I was given to commemorate my eighth anniversary with my current employers. The flowers really were spectacular, and before the hot weather (oops, another weather reference pop up) did them in, I found time to sit down with my sketch book to try a few drawings. I wanted to be able to better remember the snapdragons, asters, roses, gerberas, tiny mums, and lovely foliage. For the first time in ages, I spent many hours on an errand-free day off, just trying to regain hand and eye coordination.
Some of the drawings that pleased me most turned out to be those of some of the asters that had actually gotten dried out and spindly. I really loved the linear inspiration of those tiny little twisty, turny dried flowers. I have not taken any photos of those drawings. They were just warm up exercises (another possible weather reference there.)
The picture below is an oil painting I did quite a few years ago, during another summertime. The cups are some of my old china. The setting is imaginary.
This morning I had an early morning walk over to the farmers greenmarket, and found some super red and ripe tomatoes, a tiny kirby cucumber (to add to tomorrow's turkey sandwich,) some young, crisp green beans and a perfect peach. I was tempted by some of the other prime produce for sale, but did not linger outdoors for too long.
I wanted to get home to do a little watercolor picture that I will be giving to someone as a sort of farewell, good luck gift, tomorrow. I do lots of these fanciful watercolor teacups and thought you all might enjoy seeing the difference in my approach using different media.

I painted this pretty quickly without much planning, other than deciding on the shape of the cup.
Some of the colors are inspired by some of my old Minton china. Lots of the colors are just arbitrary to fill up the space with a summertime feeling.
Well. I am delighted to report that while I have been typing, the light in this room changed dramatically, and now we are getting that longed-for summer shower. The air is transformed!
It's my hope to keep the sketchbook handy this week, and to be able to share some more of my playing about with pencils and paint. It's also my hope that you all are having lots of fun this summer. Cheers!