At Rest With Nature – New Watercolor on Absorbent Ground, May 2020

At Rest With Nature ©Felipe Adan Lerma - watercolor on absorbent ground May 2020
At Rest With Nature ©Felipe Adan Lerma – watercolor on absorbent ground May 2020

At Peace With Nature has several firsts for me.

One, it’s a 5×7 stretched canvas, another size like my recent 6×12, A Walk Among the Wildflowers, I haven’t done in quite awhile, certainly even further back by maybe even decades, lol! It’s an interesting size, being small, yet enabling and enhancing the sense of length or height, like the 6×12, but more subtly. And I do have a recent unopened pack of 5×7 canvas panels I was to take with us to Vermont this summer, but that’s not happening, so, by testing the waters with this small Fredrix 5×7 I’ve had stored for years I think, I have a new purpose for them for now 😊

Two, a real rarity for my more recent very smallish work, this image – for me anyways – appeals as strongly to me from a distance as up close (where the detail & nuance is of course more visibly obvious). But what’s surprised me with At Peace With Nature, is how pleasing it’s been passing by it, even from 7, 8 feet or more away. I’m still a little puzzled, but very pleased by it. Other work I really like, also attracts my eye from a distance, but compels me to looks much closer, with the urge to see if there’s more. With this small piece, I know there’s more, but if I’m short on time and long on chores 😊 I’m very happy to’ve caught a glimpse from afar. Very strange, or unusual, but also very nice!

And three, though I usually choose, with watercolor, to either let the colors run or drain or blend ad hoc, or blend them very carefully in layers or via brush laden water soakings, there’s significant portions in the sky and water I also blended in a modified pointillism/impressionism, dotting areas of color with white gouache, varying the size of the dotting and spacing between them to achieve a more visual blending, something I enjoyed doing with my water soluble oils, thickly, and here, this time, enjoyed doing much more thinly, with varying degrees of water in the gouache. Interesting anyway, letting distance and the eye do those areas of the blending ❤️

At Rest With Nature detail ©Felipe Adan Lerma - watercolor on absorbent ground May 2020
At Rest With Nature detail ©Felipe Adan Lerma – watercolor on absorbent ground May 2020

Above is a detail, showing some of what I meant in the 3rd (last point) above. Sometimes I could decide when very close to the surface where and how much to apply in this semi-impressionist manner. Other times, from just a few feet away I could decide. All in all, a very fun, very interesting little piece.

At Rest With Nature ©Felipe Adan Lerma - watercolor on absorbent ground May 2020
At Rest With Nature ©Felipe Adan Lerma – watercolor on absorbent ground May 2020

At Peace With Nature took me much longer to finish than anticipated. I thought I had it down after the initial layin, the land masses, fog masses, and reflections, which have remained almost entirely intact.

But the thin impressionist blending I mentioned above has taken me a few days. A few days spent in a visual-application struggle to get the right feel.

That, and getting the tiny boat/canoe & figure in it right, lol!

The latter, the figure and boat, started as a surf boarder, then three birds, then one bird, and finally what’s seen now, lol! Included in the struggle to get the right figures on the water, was their scale, to allow the terrain to have the intended scale. I kept reducing and reducing the inset til finally it worked. Finished by very gradually diminishing its saturation, thus enhancing the sense of distance I wanted, and the (literally) saturated atmosphere of the picture as a whole.

I hope everyone who stops by is staying well, or well as can be, and is enjoying & finding hope in those things and people that can be enjoyed 💕

Adan

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Thanks again, everyone! 😊

Adan

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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