Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Watercolor Promise

When we moved here 2 1/2 years ago, Calvin promised me a watercolor for the space above our mantelpiece. Of course, he's been swamped ever since. But, over his vacation he got out his brushes, paints, and paper. Now, I have a beautiful watercolor above my fireplace.

I don't know if you've ever watched a watercolorist paint. It's almost too stressful for me. There is no margin for error. If you're an oil or acrylic painter and you make a mistake, you can always scrape it off and do it again. If you paint with watercolors and something goes wrong, you're stuck. It takes superb planning, boldness, and a willingness to improvise. (Clearly, I'll never be a watercolorist.)

To watch a real painter is an amazing experience. They take a blank piece of paper or canvas and draw on it. And that's interesting, but it doesn't really look like a drawing. Calvin says they're more like "guidelines," markers for the painter. Then, the artist applies the medium. Slowly, but surely, the paper comes alive--instead of adding something to the paper, it's like the paper is being removed and something living is revealed underneath.

I'm sorry to say that these posted pictures do not do the painting justice. The color is skewed, and all sense of vitality is gone. Partly is the fault of indoor lighting and not having the latest digital technology, and partly is the difficulty of reproducing art. I remember studying paintings in college and then seeing them in the gallery--it was like seeing two different things. But I hope you'll enjoy it anyway.


  1. Woah!! That's amazing!! I didn't know Pastor Keller was such an artist!!

  2. Awesome! I am put to shame by my mere acrylics. Next week I'll be freezing my tail off in a sugar shack and continuing my sketches of the park. Cal...I challenge you to a duel!

  3. If a picture is worth a thousand words, 267 was a little shy :) Seriously, my deepest admiration to both of you. We love seeing both of your talents. May you continue to glorify our Lord with your gifts. Thank you for sharing. Colleen for all us Bells.

  4. An enchanting picture...promises hours of gazing and dreaming of a beautiful place somewhere far, far away !!