It’s amazing to me that, even around the busiest metropolitan centers, wonderful hideaways still exist that transport you far away from the strip malls, busy intersections and shopping centers that dominate our modern landscape. These days you can get a news update almost anywhere, but in these little hideaways you’ll find that the natural beauty captures your attention, and you won’t be checking your phone!
Illustration: “Secret Garden,” Watercolor and gouache in a Stillman & Birn “Beta” sketchbook (2018)
Sometimes these jewels are right in our own neighborhood, or at least not far as the crow flies. One such place in Northern Virginia is a small state park, Colvin Run Mill, which has a still-functioning circa-1900 General Store and still working mill grinding wheat and corn today. I have driven past this very spot for more than 20 years without stopping–until now.
Illustration: “Colvin Run Mill,” Watercolor, gouache, and pen-and-ink on Arches rough paper (2018)
Many of us hurry by without much choice, for years, without noticing therefore our surroundings.
Illusration: “Lake edge”, Watercolor in Stillman &Birn “Beta” sketchbook (2018)
These days, however, the new greens of spring make one want to take one’s paint kit outside more often—how to capture that beautiful light? What greens work best? I’ve been finding that Winsor & Newton Transparent Yellow helps to give some bright greens.
Illustration: “Colvin Run,” watercolor and gouache on Arches rough paper (2018)
Indanthrone Blue and Quinacridone Gold (either the old or the new) gives some great, more olive, shades of green. And you can always use a sap green, which comes in many different colors, actually. Happy painting!
Illustration: “Secret Beachview”, Watercolor and pen-and-ink in a Stillman & Birn “Beta” sketchbook (2018)