BETWEEN A PATH AND A HARD PLACE
As I was trying to explain my interest in rocks, in the back of my mind, it went back to a picture I had taken in a Hotel in Tunisia, called Africa Jade during the 2012-2013 Christmas break, in the year that we spent in Tunisia; to those northerners amongst you: although I didn't swim, I jogged on the beach end of December where the temperature hovered around 18 degrees C in mid-afternoon. In any event, one of the pathways within the resort caught my eye because of its "coziness" and "naturalness" (check the web site of the hotel to see the style of the place". Up til this very moment, as I am writing this, I thought that it was in cobblestones, and in my mind, my interest in cobblestone pathways comes from this picture. Hum, there are no cobblestones! Well, a few around the edges. So much for explanation!
Cobblestones have very smooth shapes, chiseled by centuries and millennia of small, but unrelenting phenomena. In Tunisia, we have a proverb that says that "persistence beats marble"--except that it rhymes :-)
Technically, I tried the "dark colour first then lift colour with a wet brush for the lighter parts. I started out that way, but then by using my wet brush technique, I didn't get the contrast I wanted. So I had to add white. But by now, the back ground was dark blue. Thus, I used gouache. I had meant to add stuff to it (see below), but in the end, I liked so much the result that I left this one as is.
BEAUTY IN HARDSHIP
So now that I have gotten the hang of my rocks, here is a series ... of two. I did a small search on the web to see which flowers grow within rocks. Because these tend to be harsh conditions (soaking in water, or in dry places, in salty water, etc.), the plants tend to be resilient, with small leaves, and complex patterns. So this imaginary flower may not grow in such landscapes, but who cares.
I tried flowers, with a more complex patterns and colours, and the results are not very convincing. For one thing, because of the technique I chose to use (a background of dark watercolour), I had to use gouache, which dulls colours and kills contrast.
PAUL DOYON PARK
So I guess it is garden / park paths that I like, not necessarily cobblestones, or perhaps stones within park paths. This is based on a picture of Paul Doyon Park, in the Notre Dame de Grace district in Montréal (southeast corner of Girouard & Monkland). I took a picture of the path, on my way to work (august 1rst, two weeks before D day). I liked the path, the shade, and the fact that the path led to a inner sanctuary, a mere few feet from the bustle of midday traffic. I like that about city parks, although I don't have time to enjoy them for now.
Technically, when I started it, I made a mistake. Instead of throwing the piece of junk, and starting a new one, true to my bad habit, I tried to salvage it. Many drawing and painting teachers and manuals alike actually advise against trying to salvage pieces of work in progress. But because I usually work late at night, at the expense of sleep time, the thought of abandoning something and starting anew is distressing. But two nights ago (today is April 1, 2018), I actually tore-up a going no-where work in progress. Wow!