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.