A set of 150 watercolour pencils – a gift from my husband – challenges me to paint. In the busyness of moving, I have let this practice slip, and a number of sketches sit in my portfolio case waiting for me.
Inspiration comes from the photos I take. The lone turtle (featured), for instance, begged for me to sketch him, stretching out his neck and posing just so. I didn’t know turtles could be so vain.
This chipmunk, reaching up to take food from my husband, is also an outgoing fellow. Not shy about human contact, I am sure he will covet his portrait, but he is not impressed.
“Go back to the drawing board,” he chirps at me. “You need more practice.”
“How ungrateful!” I retort, thinking of all the peanuts we’ve fed him over the years.
This black & white stilt wading silently in shallow water, would prefer his privacy but how could I not at least attempt to capture his elegance. He, too, questions my technique – suggests my colours are off.
Maybe, I should just stay away from blue, I think; it doesn’t seem to be working for me.
Of course, I don’t listen to my own advice.
I try my hand at a landscape, drawn to the image of the barren tree in the midst of a flourishing field.
I have also been obsessed with taking pictures of clouds and think perhaps the watercolour pencils will be a good tool to use for capturing the clouds lines, but the image is not cooperating.
The perspective is off and the fields refuse to demonstrate the rich greens of the original. The blue pencil develops a mind of its own and whips up tornado like torrents, ruining my sky. I set the painting aside in hopes that we can later reconcile, but when I revisit it later, I clearly see this will not happen.
The painting is mocking me. There, where I intended clouds, is a face staring back at me.
I put the pencils away, vowing to return to the paints next time.
(V.J.’s challenge this week is personification. While painting, I often become aware of the art taking on a life, and attitude, of its own. Please tell me I’m not alone in this.)