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Watercolor Painting - How to Create Watercolors That Reach Beyond Reality Into Poetry

Watercolor Artists Who Paint Landscapes Share a Special Bond with Poets

Artists and poets are united in their love of nature. Nature sustains them, and creative individuals can never get enough. Watercolor artists depict a scene with a paintbrush loaded with color. The poet carefully selects words to evoke a picture in your mind's eye. It's for you to supply memories and associations that make the painting or poem a touchstone you simply must have.

"When a painted summer landscape can capture the warmth and restfulness and grace of this season, and perhaps even the rumble of distant thunder, then it begins to approach that tenuous edge of reality where poetry resides. When the voices of other summers whisper through a canvas to the viewer, it has hit the mark". Elizabeth Mowry

A poetic landscape will draw you in until "you hear the voices of other summers whisper through the canvas," as Elizabeth Mowry states. Many times you encounter a "quiet space" within a painting - just enough spaciousness to intuit the artist's true intention. It might also be compared to a "still point" of inner balance while meditating.

The sensed stillness in a picture speaks volumes within the painting and about the artist. Colors used by the artist may be warm and inviting, for example, depicting the light of a summer morning, with mist rising and the pine trees still... not even a tiny breeze. Looking at a painting such as this, you just know it's going to be a hot, country day!

Artists and Poets Evoke Mood by Expressing Their Bliss

The artist uses color and brushstrokes to soothe your soul and inspire peacefulness each time you view the painting. Poets choose words that express their serenity and joy. Poetry and art paint with words and color in ways that defy logic yet deeply nourish the spirit.

The watercolor landscape artist loves to portray the woodlands, paths, meandering creeks mountains and farms. This is poetry for the artist's soul. Painting nature as they see it, they become absorbed in their painting and forget of troubles and cares of the day.

Poets paint their pictures with the color of their words, the sweep of their expressions and re-creations of their inspiration.

Many times as I encounter scenes of the countryside, I'm reminded of my happy childhood in the country on a small farm. My paintings reflect lessons taught by my parents, who were deeply attuned to nature and the seasons. I have learned first-hand that inspiration can come from many things.

So if you are moved by nature, I warmly encourage you to create watercolors, poems or any other expressions of your joy, so that others can join that enchanted realm of inspiration where you find yourself.


The Watercolor Paintings of Elizabeth Sullivan

Ten years ago artist Elizabeth Sullivan moved into a studio apartment. That little event sparked a career as a watercolor painter. Although she had been painting, drawing, dying fabrics and doing sculpture since she was very young, Ms. Sullivan was forced to take up watercolors in her small space, because there was no room for other media.

She found out that she liked watercolors best, and although the tiny home in a studio apartment has been replaced with a house and studio in Elgin, Texas, she still excels at watercolors. Art prints of her paintings are published in Sweden and distributed internationally, and her work has been used by other companies to adorn coasters, cards, area rugs and more. She is best known for her southwestern watercolors of horses and wildlife, but her recent paintings of dogs and cats have become wildly popular.

Sullivan acknowledges that one of her inspirations is cave paintings and pictographs and the vibrant hues of the southwest. She uses an interesting technique to achieve the yellows, reds, oranges, browns and turquoise, which used a characteristic of watercolor, but is not an ordinary watercolor technique. Watercolors are transparent - so by layering one color on top of another in several stages, brilliant color pops off the page.

Another aspect of her paintings is paint that flows across the page. "The tendency of water is to flow," she says, "and I just add more water and let it flow. Of course the trick is to get it to flow where you want it to go, in the proper amount."

"I used to paint a lot more realistically," remarks Ms. Sullivan, " but what I really wanted to express was the graceful and powerful motion of the animals, so as time passes my paintings become more and more ethereal in that expression." Motion is a key concept in her paintings - horses, buffalo, longhorn cattle and even armadillos and horned lizards actually seem to move in her paintings.

She catches other animal motion, too. The armadillo mama with her four babies waddles along searching for someone's garden to root around in. The horned lizards circle each other, deciding their next moves.

The subjects of her paintings are subjects familiar to the artist. Horned lizards are a recent addition to her subject matter, and after a patron expressed interest, Ms. Sullivan recalled her own childhood fascination with the little creatures. If you make your home in Texas, armadillos are part of the scenery - often found digging up your garden. She has worked around horses for most of her life and studied the animals exhaustively. Each new subject she takes up requires much study and sketching to narrow down the essence of the animal. Then a painting can be begun.

With her four cats sleeping at her feet or walking across a fresh painting, Elizabeth Sullivan loves spending time in her studio or on a ladder working on a new mural. You may also find her at a gallery or art show.

Visit her website www.ecsullivan.com and feel free to contact her by email at ecsullivan@aol.com


Artists - Use a Day Planner to Quickly Achieve Your Goals

Organization Boosts Your Creativity!

Using the artist day planner and achieving your artistic goals faster can go hand in hand. What better time than right now to begin using this wonderful organizational tool?

Day planners are enormously helpful if you want to stay organized. It's quite a challenge for me to store and remember appointments, daily events, and all those chores that just have to be completed. I would much rather be able to direct all my attention to creating my art while I am painting. And then, when I am done, I know just where to look to make sure my day doesn't get away from me.

More Is Not Always Better.

Personally, I've tried the new, wonderful electronic versions, but I haven't had good results. The mental and physical process of keeping appointments, goals and personal information in electronic devices, while quite common today, just doesn't seem like a good fit for me. It doesn't seem to flow. Is this true for you, as well?

I wonder if artists sometimes appreciate having the tactile sensation of writing in a book, seeing their own handwriting, and being able to turn pages. Because I love the natural world, I love the natural feel of the day planner I use.

It used to be different when I was not working professionally as an artist, and I worked in the corporate world. A large desk calendar held all the appointments, meetings and vacation/sick leave time. Now that I'm working from home, I'm happy to be able to reduce my calendar size.

Which Page Layout Is Best for You?

Many years ago, I received a brown, leather day runner. Ever since then, I've used it to keep appointments, etc. Choosing the type of day planner page is important. There are many different types, so you may want to compare them. My personal choice displays 3 days on one side and 4 days on the other side. This type of planner is flat, so you can see the whole week at once on the open page. Also included in this type of day planner are calendars of the present month, next month and year.

I like that they also feature pages for personal notes, where I can keep information from sizes to grocery lists at my fingertips. This type of day planner is all you need to become more efficient, keep your goals on track and achieve the organized life you want to live.

Although the paper day planner is probably the oldest way of planning, I believe that it is the fastest, easiest way to keep your day, week, month or year moving in an orderly fashion! It certainly is for me.

I welcome your comments about your favorite ways of keeping your artistic day running smoothly.


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