Monday, November 2, 2009

Watercolors- Part Deux


I'm back, with more from my 'watercolor journey'

I was sharing my lessons from my watercolor class. We started with Synchronism and then the color wheel- Mandala.

The next project really started the action going. It was titled "Narrative". We were to write a poem or story and illustrate it with a picture or a series of pictures. We were also to 'mentor' with an illustrator who's work had been published. Our story or poem was to be original and we were to use the mentors artistic style.

I was excited and so I started searching,I went to the bookshop and I searched and I searched but I couldn't find anything that really spoke to me.

Finally, I decided to look online and I searched and searched and then, I found her! As soon as i saw her work, I just KNEW I wanted to paint like her!
Her book was titled "La Belle Ballerine" and I just knew she had to be my mentor. Please have a look at her beautiful work at her blog Perugina Art. Initially, I only focused on this particular set of paintings to mentor me. Later, I researched some more, found her blog and I was blown away. There was this sensual fluid quality to her paintings, especially the watercolors and I knew she was going to be my mentor for life, not just for this particular assignment, but for life. And I suppose that was the goal of the assignment, to help us identify the style that appealed to our senses the most and to have a point of view to start from. I even sent Perugina an email,and she replied. Here it is dated May 19 2009

Hello Patricia,

I'm just writing to let you know how beautiful your work is and how much it has inspired me. Let me tell you how I found you.......

I live in California and I'm going through a "pre-mid life crisis" (smile) and so I've taken some time out to rediscover myself. In the process, I decided to take a watercolor class. One of our assignments was to "mentor" with a children's illustrator who's work we identified with, I searched and searched the bookshops and libraries but I couldn't find anyone who's work moved me. So then I went online and continued to search and then I found 'La Belle Ballerine' and I just knew there was something about it that made me want to paint in the same 'style' so I continued to research you and I found more of your work and I just love it. And then, when I found out your star was 'Cancer' it even made mores sense because I'm cancer too. Isn't art wonderful? It communicates in ways that words will never be able to express! On my journey, I'm just looking to create simple beautiful expressive work, I don't want to shock or to become this complicated artist, I'm just looking to create simple, inspiring maybe even passionate beauty.
So, you're my watercolor mentor!
I'll let you see some of my work when I'm done ok. Thank you for inspiring me and for your beautiful work!

Shirley Ann.

And here is her lovely reply

Hi Shirley Ann,

Your email has left me speechless stating that i am your mentor, and that your were taken by them to have gone to the trouble to contact me. Thank you!

I would welcome your emails showing me your work in watercolour when you commence.
It is an exciting and frustrating medium to work with - well in my opinion anyway.

I am a fledgling in this medium and am still learning about it and making new discoveries each time i paint.
You have stated..
"I'm just looking to create simple, inspiring maybe even passionate beauty."
It is a great thing to at least be able to identify what it is that you want to do - a great first step in the direction you want to walk in this 'your journey'.

Wishing you all the best and keep me posted, perhaps you will want to start your own blog.. to record your progress as i have done. An online journal!
Your email in turn has inspired me.. :)

A journey starts with just one small step.


It's not because I want to put TMI (too much information) out there, but this was an experience that I really needed to share.

I am ashamed to say that I haven't shown Perugina anything,simply because, I think; the time wasn't right, I wasn't confident enough. But now I am. Another reason why I'm so happy that I've finally set up an 'online journal' for my art. And now I can show Perugina my work and share my journey.

So thank you Perugina, for inspiring me so!

I'll ask permission and if I get it, I'll post some of her wonderful work on my blog.

Ok, I went a little of track, but the details of this journey are very important to me.
Flowers have always inspired me. So here's my poem and illustration (and remember, this was at the beginning so it's not very skilled, but I love it all the same!), I also intend to write the complete book one day!

The next project was the "Personal Project" and ohhh, I had big plans! It was a project where we could paint anything we wanted. I was going to design and paint something spectacular! Something in fashion, or maybe a painting of a room filled with all the things I love.

It was not meant to be.

Here's what happened.One morning, I was inspired and I decided to paint some flowers from the 'Essence of flowers' project which is coming up. All these projects overlapped each other. So, I started and I was painting away happily. In the middle of the painting,I received a very disturbing phone call from my parents,the kind that makes you forget to put your make up on before you leave the house. So I was completely disoriented. I tried to go back to painting,but the more I painted,the more I was messing it up. And so I gave up. However, I still decided to take it to class. At the end of class, I stayed over to paint because I really didn't feel like going home to be alone. I don't know how it happened, but I showed Sharon the painting and she thought it was beautiful.She said it looked like watching two ballerina's twirl around in their tou tou's from above. So then it became very personal.To think I could attempt to create some form of beauty even in my darkest moment. And so this became my 'Personal Project'
It wasn't about the painting itself but about the experience, and it really was personal.

One more project for today.

Our next project was 'Pen an Ink'

We were to find a black and white picture, and use the method of stippling and mark making with a ink,a quill and pointed nib to reproduce the picture. I was terrified!News papers were the ideal source. As usual,I searched and searched but I couldn't find anything. Then my friend Carolyn (there's going to be a whole post, in fact many posts about dear Carolyn, we have embarked on this journey together and it's been amazing!)said she had some pictures. As soon as I saw it,I knew it was the one! How I was going to reproduce it, I had no idea, but I was surely going to try!
This whole period to this day has bee a very trying time in my life. And at a point I shut the whole world out and felt like I was in a cocoon. That is why I was so drawn to this picture and why I had to re create it.

See for yourself......

I'll be back with part trois....

Asante Sana

With love from

Asinti Sanaa

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