Flowering at Dawn – New Watercolor with Absorbent Ground Painting Progress Update 03.13.20 Plus Thoughts on the Virus Crisis 😊

I’m gonna take my time with this new post. Stressing and hurrying, for no reason really, seems silly right now, and maybe “most” anytime 😊


Well, I had this really nice set of ideas that for whatever reason, internet connect/WP/my iPad, wouldn’t save, then lost them all. Bummer 😂

Now I get to take my time more than I intended, lol!

I’m debating whether to try and re-express all that I’d felt then lost. Why doing my art, doing this post, seem important for me to do, but in a different way from usual. I’ll try again….


Random thoughts about the virus crisis
Having interests, passions even, one can pursue, and let’s say pursue relatively easily, is important for everyone, but especially, I think, for young children and for older adults. I’ll let each person decide what an older adult, or a young child, lol, is, age-wise 💕

Having interests one can do at home, in the current medical crisis unfolding around the world, becomes critical. It is my responsibility to maintain my own sense of involvement and interest in life if those conditions develop for me.

Conversely, having said that, I also know, knowing seniors 2 to 4 decades older than myself, that many of those folks worked 10 to 12 or more hours a day til their bodies couldn’t go on that way anymore; that for many of them, having children and grandchildren to visit with them is their interest, their passion, and saying to them, read or watch videos is not what they’ve able to develop to maintain interest in their lives.

I don’t have an answer for all that. But to ignore that, is to also ignore the depth of this crisis.


My watercolor art progress
So, returning to my regularly scheduled post 😊 though Flowering at Dawn is a relatively older 6×6 in terms of how many I’ve been developing, with many having their images finished but not yet sprayed with fixative or varnished (see pic in my post Short Update on My Art, Blog Posts and Fitness 😊 March 08, 2020), Flowering at Dawn is still very new in my learning curve.

First, it is one of the very 1st I added speckles of paint here and there, and, was able to preserve them via the Spectrafix fixative spray, and spray varnished. I’d begun to think I just wouldn’t be able to do that with watercolors, at least those I preserved & varnished so’s to display them without glass.

Additionally, this is the first, and one of the very few (only?) watercolors I’ve been able to bring off in a very dark background, then build to let the lighter colors shine.

This is also one of the first I felt I successfully applied a few very sparingly applied black pen lines to. Those few tiny lines helped clean up some edges, providing some spots of clean contrast (and thus depth) in an otherwise very soft diffused work – thus the title suggesting that obscured time of twilight as the world begins to reappear before full sunrise.

Lastly, though the work was preserved via the fixative and spray varnish, I guess the slightly variable surface texture and alternating dark and lit areas just looked kinda blotchy (vs its original state), so I carefully applied one coat of Gamvar gloss varnish, and wallah! Original picture integrity I was aiming for restored! ❤️

Absorbent watercolor ground on canvas update evaluation
I’m getting more and more comfortable creating watercolor images on this non-paper alternative method, and liking it more and more 😊

I knew I would like working with watercolors the moment I began trying them, but didn’t realize how much. They’ve very distinct wonderful qualities of their own – not just the way they blend and flow, on their own or into each other, but the softness they seem to impart to a scene.

At some point I’ll try again using acrylics on absorbent ground, with lots of water. Too much water reduces acrylics ability to adhere to canvas, so absorbent ground seems the perfect opportunity. Plus, when dry, the acrylic paint is still a polymer, thus won’t rewet like watercolors. That’s a minus if one wishes to take advantage of watercolors ability to be reactivated for partial blending with new paint, but a plus if one wishes to overlay color without muddying the colors. Lot to look forward to going forward with my art!

Thoughts about making art during a crisis
I’ve pretty much taken for granted making art as a way of expressing myself for many many decades – times I’m happy, times I’m aspirational, times of searching.

But the current virus crisis has me thinking about a lot of things.

Like the early cave artists with their stick like figures of people and animals.

Were they just depicting a day out in the nearly prehistoric wild?

Were they celebrating a beautiful day with plentiful food?

Or lamenting days that seemed they’d never return?

Maybe, all those things….


Thanks so much everyone! Stay vigilant & healthy!


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Thanks again, everyone! 😊


Artist self portrait - photo of Felipe Adan Lerma on converted railway track bike ferry for the Island Line Trail connecting mainland Vermont to South Hero on Lake Champlain.

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