Tag Archives: poem

Spring Thaw


Watercolor on Illustration board 15″x20″

               Spring Thaw

There are places

      Where the melting snow flows

      Where beside a stream grows

      The wild tree

Random glances in open spaces

      Where the searching eye goes

      Where the sunlight shows

      The unlocking key

Earth warming traces

      Where new reflections pose

      Where all life knows

Spring ….. is breaking free

—John Michael Cook

All paintings unfold from a frozen state into a visual thawed state.  Much like spring, they were planted sometime before, awaiting the warming light of inspiration to bring them forth.  An idea comes into mind by some form of germination, or experience, or suggestion, from some stimulating moment.  Even the simplest of images are born this way.

This image is a mixed process watercolor.  Done with wax paper resist. Salt over the watercolor washes, and gouache white line brush stroke and drafting pen stroke.



Moonlit Garden

Hearts-Intents_web  Graphite on light bond paper, 11″x17″ (2002).

Often when a first doodling turns to a sketch, it seems words take part in the making of an idea. This was a case where a poem came into mind as the doodle became a drawing, and after a bit it became a rendering of a whole concept. The poem was setting there waiting for an image.

Often it is engaging to start a sketch with a basic shape, in this case a circle, and after giving a few guide lines it looked as a crescent moon. With a little dabbling it soon became a moonlit garden and it needed people.  It is unusual for me to come at a picture this way; I usually “see” the idea and refine it rather than see a refinement become a picture.

It is both disappointing and delighting to “find” an image rather than “create” an Idea.

This happens with watercolor painting, and painters a lot, the finding or accidental flowering of a great painting controlled but not contrived. They call them happy accident paintings, and over time take credit for the guided masterpiece.  I suppose it is true that mastery of the medium is a form of creating.  To me, it is more rewarding to see and then render, than to render and then see.