Just a little slice off here, and a little slice off there….

In the lead up to Open Studios later this month, I’ve spent some time finishing off paintings. I’ve developed the habit of letting paintings sit at various stages. They stand on easels in the studio or get taped up on the wall while I enjoy pondering their development. In some cases I’m simply enjoying the paint itself. Every stage of a painting has a beauty of its own: It could be the energy of a brushstroke or two, or the anticipation of the next step.  Sometimes they are allowed to sit, just because I’m not entirely sure that they are finished.

Watercolour painting of trees and hills - Horizons
Horizons

This painting started life much bigger and with different proportions. Finally, I decided it would be improved by removing a section of either side (neither of which was terribly exciting) leaving the core of the image with it’s more dynamic lines and sense of perspective.  Sometimes, the critical step in the improvement of a painting is not what you put in, but in fact – what you take away.  Doing so in this case, allowed the distant light over the hills to draw the eye, after an initial lingering on the dramatic textures in foreground trees.

There’s more to do to get ready for open studios. I have my fingers firmly crossed for good weather so we can open the garden to raise some funds for Care for Casualties. The garden looks fabulous in June, provided it hasn’t rained continuously for weeks.

View from my watercolour painting studio
The view from my studio

The view from my studio is particularly lush right now and the doors are flung wide open as soon as I get into it, so as to ensure that I appreciate every moment of it it, whenever possible.

June is definitely Chairty month in our house. This evening we’ve started the bike ride in aid of Mind. There will be sore behinds and many hours of waiting around – but Chris and Helen have raised well over £2000 for the charity so I’m sure they will count it a privilege to have painful rear ends.  More snippets about their progress may creep into this blog in the coming week. You have been warned.