Journeying : week 9, part 3

the finished work - feeling like a journey

Its back to my large watercolour. 76cm x 56cm a big beautiful sheet of rough 350gsm paper. Lovely!

I can run my hand over this stuff for hours. It feels so good.

I have a shape in mind from a sketch I did some time ago. I rough it out in charcoal and carry on painting. I ignore rules and mix stuff up. Gesso as paint. I love that it dries chalky and that it doesn’t mix so well with watercolour, although it tries. I love that it holds a brush mark but can also be wiped away with a bit of water to just a smear. I love that it picks up the charcoal and gets dirty and grey in the process.

Most of all I love that it dries fast and I can get into making the surface wet again and go in for some blooms of colour and marks and dribbles and splashes, and even splashes and drips of gesso. Wet in wet it blooms a bit as well.

I let it dry a bit more and feel the surface. Its still damp. I use a water soluble oil bar or pastel thingy (I know how what or who invents these things?) where the paper is dry it leaves a rough mark but where its damp it smooths in and where still wet it mixes into whats still drying. I am seriously loving this.

I notice it looks better in landscape and keep it there. I adjust a couple of shapes and wash in a few layers of burnt sienna to knock back where I want a bit less definition and its done.

I feel like its some kind of journey.

It feels like it should have some kind of mythological title too, something about stars perhaps. I don’t worry until it comes to me much later. These 3 paintings – one big, two small – are connected.

The small ones were Orpheus and Eurydice so this big one I name ‘Journey to the Underworld’. It gets a short poem with it

When I dream

I drift and all

Is indigo. And I

Am drift. For I

can not grasp infinity.

And in the 2 smaller ones I suddenly see Orpheus: static on the point of looking back and Eurydice already dissolving from him.

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