Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Watercolor Journal Worth of Art

In 2002-03 I spent a few months in Oxdrift, ONT, CA living with my husband to be in a little trailer house on 7 acres. We were right on the trans-Canada Highway! It is where we planed & hosted our wedding festivities. It was a wonderful time with my man and our dogs. We did a lot of hiking, walking, picking wild blueberries, visiting Egli's Sheep Farm, biking to Oxdrift to grocery shop, then taking a taxi back. Some of the taxi drivers were very confused to have to stick our bikes in their trunk... but we didn't have a car for a few months!

I found this journal I kept during that time. I am glad I spent some of my time documenting my experience during that wonderful time!

These are NOT actual size!

Watercolor: Collie Boy during a thunderstorm
Collie was on the couch and he looked like he could use some company. What better way to spend time together than using him as a model for a watercolor! On a cuteness scale of 1-10 he is an eleven!
PS: I've turned these into fabrics over at Spoonflower:
PSS: see my fabric "Sleepy Collie" in action as a 'colabo' with JulieVision she's made "sleepy collie" into an awesome clutch called "Woof":

Watercolor: still life leaves and rosehips
Looks like I was warming up the watercolor book...

Pen and highlighters: Collie in the snow
Using materials I had on hand...

Gel Pen and string: Mandala
Can't recall why I thought string was necessary, but it did give straight lines...

Watercolor: checked swirls

Watercolor: X
I was probably listening to Laurie Anderson's Let X=X song and got inspired to make this...
If you've read her book The Nerve Bible there is a picture of X that is interesting.

 Watercolor from a photo: brothers family
Good thing I chose small images for this post, portraits are not my strong suit!

Watercolor: paths around our trailer at dusk
My husband would take the riding mower and mow paths around our place so we could walk easily with our dogs. I'd always see these cute spiderwebs strung between two blades of grass, so I've added them into the painting, it may be hard to see them, they were for me until the light hit them just so... I think this page started out as a list... it seems to have writing in the background... I must have been painting in the dark!

Watercolor: Laundry Line
Our laundry line started at the top of a hill and continued down the hill, it was there when we moved in. Behind it was a boggy area that I stayed out of...

Watercolor: TransCanada Hwy
Facing west from our yard I could see the highway rather well. That is also where the boggy area behind the clothes line was fed by a stream. The property used to be a cow farm and the fencing was present but not in good shape. We often followed the fence to the stream, crossed it and hiked some lovely rocky hills filled with wild blueberries. Ravens were often present and they were huge!

Watercolor: dog circles
We had a kennel of sled dogs and their jogging around creates circles where they live. One large circle can be seen around our trailer, here, because our house dog, Collie Boy, would run laps around the house at least twice a day during feedings! How cute! When we had to move I was sad we couldn't take that with us. Also you can see our laundry line in this watercolor and a bit of the old cow fence - to keep them away from the house. The land was just starting to grow trees again after being fallow from farming. We met this nice family, The Tuckeys who used to live there and farm the land. Wilbur Tuckey would say it was a lot of work clearing rocks and trees out and it was a shame the trees were allowed to regrow and ruin all those hours of labor.

Watercolor: Haybales
Our neighbors across the TransCanada Hwy had a luscious field of hay and one day I came out and saw it all rolled up. I couldn't resist painting it. The colors are as true as I could make them with my small palate.
Very vibrant and alive.

Watercolor: Self Portrait
There was a very small flower garden on our driveway. It had this broken fence that I was fond of.
I really wanted to paint myself picking my wedding day flowers (yellow day lillies) from it.
The clouds in Canada were really truly that swirly!

Watercolor: Patricia Field
One of the places we passed regularly on our bicycle rides was this small airport where nothing usually was happening. One day we saw these two older gentlemen flying these radio planes together. I knew I had to stop and lucky me I happened to have my watercolor gear along! We stopped and I sketched quickly because they looked like they were packing up soon. After 20 minutes they did gladly I even had a bit of time to add some colors before we all went our seperate ways. I could not have done this from memory!

Watercolor: winter firewood
A portrait of a man who toiled all summer to cut, dry and stack all his fire wood before the first Canada snow.

Watercolor: still life of wild flowers, twigs and chili peppers