What a wonderful time we had - not that that's any surprise. It was, after all, vacation with family in a well-known, well-loved place. There were no surprises. This year the weather was cool all week, and the lake at 58 degrees was too cool for me even to dip a toe into let alone my entire body, but that, too, posed no significant problem.
Actually, it left time for reading (D did more of that than I), sewing (of which I did a little - though not as much as I thought I would), walking (an estimated three miles every morning), eating (far too much vacation leeway there), searching for bonsai specimens (D, of course - and he was successful) and painting.
What, no parenthetical comment after "painting"? you ask. No, because I did more painting this year than any year before which made me very happy. It made me so happy that I will share with you what I did so no need for parentheses. While I worked on three paintings, I finished only one sketch, and that is what I will share today. First, it's being shared because it is finished, and second, because I haven't photographed the other two, yet.
This sketch was done "en plein air" - which means I painted while sitting outside looking at my subject. I haven't done a lot of that (this may be my second), but I have drawn en plein air frequently. Again, my hesitation over exposing my awkwardness with watercolor inhibited me. This year, I decided to just jump in and do in. After all, I had E and brother D who are experienced with both painting outside and with watercolors, to help me. And help they did. The sky in this sketch is lumpy-bumpy looking, but you should have seen it before brother D told me how to make it better!
This experience really helped me tremendously. I overcame a long-standing reluctance and found I truly enjoyed the experience. And I learned. Yes, brother D helped on this one and E on another, but I think I finally internalized my biggest fault with watercolor. I HAVE TO STOP FIGHTING THE WATER! Sorry for the capitals screaming at you there, but I am screaming at myself (in my head, of course) because it's easier than knocking one's self "up side the head".
Basically, it's the same thing I did one year with acrylics and one year with oils. With acrylics I spent a year producing darn few dreadful paintings all the time disliking what I was doing because I didn't like the paint! So I switched to oils which I truly love but spent a miserable first year painting rocks because I didn't like the brushes! So I switched to palette knife which has been remarkably liberating.
Now it's been one year with watercolors - not miserable, but not joyous either - and my epiphany has just occurred. I know it will continue to be a struggle, and I'll have to fight my urge to micro-manage water (ha! what an image that is!). But I think I may have cracked this year's barrier.