Spring is finally here even though a chill wind creates little choppy waves and white caps on the lake near my house. But now, new blossoms around our neighborhood are blindingly radiant. They won’t last long so we’re trying to take it all in now. When we’re out walking, they bounce in the breezes overhead as if tossing folds of white and pink skirts to show off. Bright forsythia complete the color show. It’s tempting to set up an easel immediately but a quick check this morning confirmed that the temperatures are just above freezing.
It’s hard to believe a year that starts off with such a gorgeous spring could be anything but fabulous (though, of course, sadly, there’s many more reasons geopolitically at least why it might not be–but that surely is for another blog post, and maybe even another blog). Art is a great way to escape from whatever is preoccupying one. Anyway, it’s time to get out the paints and the pastels, pencils and erasers, and experiment. No pressures, just to see what happens.
Here’s a bit of the latest work, including a pastel on a Claire Fontaine Ingres colored pastel paper made in France. (Note: this paper has a sort of grid imprint that shows up in one’s work, not an effect everyone is seeking, but I was using it for the background color.) I’ve found that I can make copies of these on a little printer and give them out as cards, when I need one.
Recently, over the weekend, we had a warm Saturday afternoon, so I set up a watercolor easel downtown in the driveway of an unoccupied ($8 million!) house opposite this cemetery gate. It was a great spot, just out of the way of the pedestrians with a direct view of the gate. I’ve been fascinated for several years by the famous Fauvist Raoul Dufy’s treatment of gates (he mainly painted in oils), so perhaps I’ll give this one another try. It’s the gate to the Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. The cemetery was founded in 1849 and overlooks the Rock Creek Parkway.