For years I’ve taught students with little round watercolor palettes. They run smooth pale colors in wet streaks across highly absorbent paper. I’ve told them that the colors will darken just slightly as the water evaporates when drying, but to leave white spaces if they wish for brightness.
As I venture into watercolors for myself, I have chosen to experiment with Windsor and Newton’s Cotman line. I need permanence as well as bright and vivid colors, so I’ve chosen a tube paint for my first project. I also need some bolstering of the spirit as I’ve had one girlfriend after another show up with hearts heavy this week. They are dealing with loaded plates, stuff like child and parent cancer, heart attacks, and a “no-cure on this side of the rainbow” response for ALS.
I gathered flower photos from my time last year at Butchart Gardens, more that I took in my girlfriend Sara’s garden, and some from my time in the Netherlands at my mother-in-laws. These, along with C.S. Lewis’s quote “Courage, dear heart” is what I need now, in this wet and dark pacific northwest spring.
So here’s to courage, bright, sparkly pigments running from my brush, and memories of happy garden days behind and to come.