"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Watercolor lessons in humility and story telling

"Memories, after the storm," 8" x 10" watercolor, 140 lb. d'Arches cold press paper
A week ago, I began trying to paint the chapel at Fort Reno. The results have been multiple lessons in humility, watercolor, and story telling. 
After several unfinished attempts ending in frustration, I managed to at least complete one I'm at least not disappointed in.  The first attempt I wrote about last week. See "A painting begins".
The painting changed from horizontal to vertical format this week, a lesson in composition. A lesson in complementary colors and contrast gave the front a slight orange glow to help tell the story, reflecting the morning sun after a storm. A lesson in figures and contrast added to the story possibilities. 
I wanted to paint more than just a building...buildings are basically boxes, not that hard. But historic ones deserve more than just a rendition, a photographic replica.
I hoped to catch some of the power and history of that chapel built by German and Italian POWs the year I was born.
there have to be so many memories in that building, past and present. I wanted to try to paint what inspired me--the thoughts of those memories, plus the metaphor of a morning "after the storm."
That's the story of this lesson in watercolors...I learned much, about watercolors, and myself.

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