Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Stormy Day

watercolor from reference photo, Moleskine watercolor sketchbook

My fortune cookie from the takeout place said I'd find something I had lost, and that something turned out to be notes from my Catherine Wilson Smith workshop on nightscapes in 2004.  I spent time yesterday typing up the notes, playing with her color combinations for grays and earth colors, and doing this small watercolor.  I like the drama of lots of dark, and I may go back to those notes and try more.  I have difficulty keeping the light passages, as in the field of the painting.  The sky isn't really dark enough either, especially on the far left.  But the scene is appealing to me, and I may try it with other color choices later.  Storms are always exciting; we have a snow storm brewing right now.

I'm nearly finished with the Robert Henri book, The Art Spirit.  Here are a few more notes I copied into my journal.

I can think of no greater happiness than to be clear sighted and know the miracle when it happens.  I can think of no more real life than the adventurous one of living and liking and exclaiming the things of one's own time.

More and more things are produced without a will in the creation, and are consumed or "used" without will in consumption or the using.  These things are dead.  They pass, masquerading as important while they are before us, but they pass utterly.  There is nothing so important as art in the world, nothing so constructive, so life sustaining.  ...Go to your work with a consciousness that it is more important than any other thing you might do.  It may have no great commercial value, but it has an inestimable and lasting life value.  (Steinbeck says something similar in East of Eden)

Men either get to know what they want and go after it, or some other persons tell them what they want and drive them after it.


laura said...

Hi Sherry. I like the drama of this scene too; and I think the darks are dark enough.
I also have trouble retaining the lights in layers of grasses, say, on a dune: I do too much. Next time I think I'll try for the impression and see if I can stop myself!
I have Henri's book ... will have to dig it out.

Ann said...

Lovely dramatic sky and lighting!
The Art Spirit is one of my favorite books too.