September 18, 2021

This week’s words and art are about the true joy I feel when sketching the same place/thing over and over again. Actually, the kernel idea for that statement didn’t originate with me. Last week, an urban sketcher friend suggested that painting the same place over and over again was a personal joy of hers. It seems that we both are obsessed with creating art at the Descanso Gardens. Her “go to” place is the Japanese Tea Garden. She not only posted her lovely and colorful watercolors with her fellow urban sketchers, but also described all the lovely evenings she had spent in that particular garden. And the part that got me was her description of the lovely and languid time she has spent painting the same place over and over again. (Actually, I stumbled upon her painting there one evening this last July. That was fun!) Her art wonderfully captures the trees, shrubs, colorful bridge, running water and koi. For my forever joyful painting place, I prefer the wonderful morning light in the Rose Garden at the Descanso. Of course, this week’s art is of a couple mornings spent there. If you saw last week’s post, you know that I have been experimenting with sketching/painting with droplets of water found in the grass at my feet. This soft vignette was done with water droplets I accumulated on my paint brush after scrubbing it in the grass. Just so.

But on Thursday I found myself using water droplets that were on the leaves of a nearby rose shrub to complete this one. OMG! Is this just too precious? Maybe… But it was truly inspirational to let those water droplets blend the green marine ink with my Inktense and watercolor pencils. I also like the blue-green effect of that ink with my Teal Green and Sea Blue Inktense pencils. 

Lately, I have been imagining how I might start stretching canvases again—maybe doing some landscapes with oils based on my myriad sketches and/or studies of the Descanso Gardens. I am not thinking of actually dragging my usual 24 by 30 or so canvases into the garden. It would be the plein air thing to do, but I just don’t like shlepping all that stuff to a location with so many people coming and going. I would need a couple hours to finish one piece and that’s way out of my comfort zone. (Kind of a little whiny, I guess.) But what I am interested in trying out could be accomplished right here in my living room. I am kind of wondering if I could use the many sketches I have done to do a larger, more complex and final, Descanso Garden landscape. I am kind of wondering if I might have gained some Descanso “tree,” “shrub” or “bench” muscle memory. That would be fun to explore, right? I can already imagine shades of green as my non/under colors—then adding a grove of golden oaks. Or what about a far-off view with that perfect soft blue sky and hills with trees and roses littered all about the landscape? I have so many views and colors to draw upon…And I have a huge roll of canvas to draw upon as well. I just need to start ordering the stretcher bars and look for my staple gun. Stay tuned…

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