18 January 2015


by Andy Weddington
Sunday, 18 January 2015

"Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week." Joseph Addison

On Carissa's porch, I sit. 

It's 0600 and dark still. 

Before me, across the harbour a rooster crows. And another rooster crows, too. 

Wake up! Wake up!

Nearby, birds chirp. One squawks, as if in anger. 

A dinghy without navigation light putters across the still water.

The lighthouse mantle fades and rotation done. No more kerosene. Dawn takes over the sentinel's nocturne duty. 

Behind me, I hear the Atlantic surf. 

Sun breaks the horizon. Day is here.

'Carissa's View' 5 x 5 ½ in. gouache on paper

Before 0600 I wrote a note of reply to the wife of a 70 year-old man. A few days ago I taught him a philosophy of painting. He had never painted. 

That note...


Ken's hat - 2 1/2 x 4 3/4 in. - a little gem. The post course paintings and reminders for Ken and Bob meant to reinforce - painting is bumping color shape against color shape simply. It's a flat surface and can be nothing more. Drawing (though important in its own right but best separated for beginner painters) is not a necessary precursor. Let color shape(s) define space and form and the difference between things. Ergo painting is a process of adjusting color shapes, throughout the entire canvas (or paper) and all to the same degree of development, then stopping not when "finished" but in an interesting place. Complexity (consequently) follows - it need not ever be purposeful. 

'Ken's Hat' 2 ½ x 4 3/4 in. gouache on paper 

The crux (of painting) rests not in the tools nor hand (nor foot nor mouth) but in imprinting the color (wheel) into brain, heart, and soul. Complements and split complements must come to mind without thought, instantly. Periwinkle, lavender, pale rose, turquoise, and mushroom are not colors. Most who paint neglect to master the elemental, "learn" too much useless "how to" and "tricks" stuff, study others too much, become confused, and overthink. Disappointment along with being puzzled as to why they do not improve follows. If only to master the great big obvious. See the elephant! And, oh by the way, it's not gray nor brown (not colors, either) but a neutral. 

Powerful painting, size moot, rests in beautiful simplicity - as to color and shape (design inclusive). Ever a struggle - happily. 

This year's small watercolors - transparent and gouache - a happy, fortuitous accident once here and painting (the polar opposite paradigm of past years painting large acrylics - this year limited to three demonstrations and one in oil). So, the small works all "finished" paintings in their own right with some destined to become large interpretations in acrylic and oil. 

Thirteen years and I've yet to paint Hope Town the same way. Still trying to figure it out. Next year another try. 

Monday 0800 ferry. America and duty to beckons.

S/ Andy

PS Encourage Ken (and Bob). They are finding their way."

'Ken - What to Paint?' 2 x 3 in. Sharpie doodle on paper

The roosters crow still.

Wake up! Wake up!

The birds chirp. One squawks still. 

The harbour is light.

The sentinel now poses for postcards - until duty calls at dark.

The surf crashes still.

It's a Sunday. 

It's a sun day. 

And the rust is gone. 

Post Script

Time for a walk. 

And later a beer.

'Kalik' 8 ½ x 6 in. gouache on paper


Steve said...

Thanks for this. I just re-started this hobby/interest after a pencil sketch in Europe caught Janie's eye. Christmas looming and a nice surprise- pencils pads brushes and some water-colors! Bought to Basic course books and with granddaughter Megan (8) we started our self-taught "program".

I set up a rose resting on two candles to give us some interesting challenges on shape, shadow, and proportion. Her first attempt was basic stick figure. I asked her if that's really what she "saw". She said, no one will like it Pop-Pop and I smiled and said "Who cares" it's our drawing isn't it. She then asked if she could "move the flower." Of course- you are the artist! She then turned out a quite surprising lovely and unmistakable rose!

Love your stuff and I'm headed to US Virgins to sail in about 8 weeks- Lord willing- maybe I'll try my watercolors there.

Unknown said...

Refreshing change of pace; thanks for sharing your insights.

Dottie Jean said...

Nice. Enjoyed.