Last weekend, I took a two day break from my PhD writing activities to attend a watercolour workshop at the Sawtell Art Gallery.
Helen Goldsmith was the teacher with a focus at this workshop on interiors. It was a fantastic weekend. I loved how Helen gets so much light and energy into her paintings.
It was a developmental process over the two days, first sketching an interior composition. Helen reminded us that we could arrange the interior however we wanted. “It’s a painting not a photograph!”
I had done quite a bit of thinking about interiors I really liked and what I would like to have remind me of places I have loved. My mind took be back to Finland and the rocking chair where I read the book Travels with Charlie , and several others. The Finns have a rocking chair with a long runner. So, I wanted to include one in my painting. I also thought I would include other Finnish memorabilia and asked Taphyl to photograph objects from around the house.
Thus began my imaginative journey into arranging these as a pleasing composition. Helen was a great help here, reminding me that I did not have to have the entire and detailed replication to make the final painting evoke my memories of the Finnish culture.
We sketched, did pen drawings, and then painted. The great thing that I learned this weekend was to visualise the colours, mix them on the palette and then test before laying down. Boy, do I need lots of practice in the ‘testing’ step. Testing the colour before application in its final location helps to keep the muddy appearance from ending up in the final picture.
Well here is my final work! Can you find the reality?
I added a lamp and afghan from my grandmother’s living room. A mirror which came from my sister-in-law, and a table that used to sit in my Mother’s house. Of course Mom’s was semi-circular, and not blue in colour. But still it was a favorite because it always had a vase of flowers on it in front of a mirror.
I did get the kettle, the trumpeter, and the teacup in as well as the rocker and the warm and welcoming Finnish fires.
My next effort will include the runners of the rocker. I just have to come up with a suitable composition!