Everyone needs a bit of fun and games these days, but I'll admit that being retired, which I am, makes it a lot easier to seriously pursue these pastimes. For those of you who read this blog you know that this painting represents two of my main passions--dogs and books. Last week I told you about Willie and every Tuesday I write about a current favorite read. And if there's a film based on the book, I'll share it too. Seeing a good drama, on television or the big screen, is a great pleasure also.
One pastime that I haven't written about is painting and sketching. It's not an ongoing thing like caring for dogs or reading, but I'm always interested. I read art magazines regularly, check out galleries and exhibitions on my travels, and have a drafting table and plenty of art supplies set up in my office, always ready when the mood strikes.
I've taken watercolor classes, workshops, and tours with three different teachers over the last ten years. Here's a little sampling of my work. Don't laugh now, remember it's just for fun. This painting is an example of wet on wet. The paper is really wet and then I just dropped the color onto the wet canvas, letting the paints run into each other and "bloom". Before the watercolors dried I took the end of a brush and made some cuts in the paper to represent a rather abstract landscape.
This was an early effort at watercolor landscapes--not that the later ones got any better!
Here's a still life of some apples and a wine bottle that I did as a class painting. Thought I did a pretty good job with the apples, but the wine bottle. . .
Here are two examples of pen and ink with watercolor washes. In the village scene I did the drawing first and then applied just the barest wash of color at different spots on the painting. In the sunflower painting I laid down the color first and then squiggled in the flower shape with pen and ink.
I also enjoy working with colored pencils, especially the soft Prismacolors or graphite tints, as for these fall pumpkins and bittersweet vines:
Sometimes I like creating small thumbnail sketches in pen and ink, drawing for 10 minutes every day for several weeks. When you display them together you can see what consistent practice can do:
Often a book that I enjoy will contain sketches or simple botanical illustrations. I try to copy them. In The Places in Between, this is a copy of the drawing Rory Stewart made of the great warrior dog Babur who accompanied him on his walk across Afghanistan.
So, there you have some examples of a pastime that I don't spend time on consistently, but when I do get out the watercolors, pens, pencils and brushes I enjoy that little spurt of creativity. Be sure and go over to Joangees's place to see what kind of fun all the other Fun Monday participants are getting into.
(Image credit: Rory Stewart and Babur from The Places in Between)