I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Breaking the silence...

Hello all!  I know, I'm sorry.  It's been vanishingly quiet here at Words and Pictures.  Three weeks without posting... unheard of!!

I'm afraid I've been thoroughly immersed in my other creative world, working on a production of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure here in New York, and that's been taking up my time and my energy.   (I'm writing this at midnight, having just got in from work, because I can't bear to leave it any longer.)

But there is a flurry of blog activity due shortly, starting with a celebratory post on Monday and getting more exciting from there on.  That's another reason it's been quiet here...  There's been lots in preparation which couldn't be revealed, but the time is coming soon!

I keep promising to catch you up on my watercolour journey so, for now, I'm going to share a few sneak peeks and tasters of some of where that's been taking me.  Shock, horror, I'm finding myself in florals quite often!!

The watercolouring really started to take hold earlier this year, partly because the equipment is relatively easy to travel with.

I've already shared some flowers, some fungi, wild meadow grasses, some trees, and some general messing about.  (There are more watercolour posts if you've missed them and are curious.)

And I've carried on with the nature theme quite often, unsurprisingly.

There's a sort of tree series, varying according to the season or my mood on any given day...

... and playing on different kinds of paper (sometimes with added white acrylic splatter).

It's still amazing to me how much difference the surface you're working on makes to the play of the paints.

Some of what I'm sharing today was done months ago, back at the beginning of the year, or through February and March.

I had a whimsical turn at one point...

... all very pastel and pink.  An interesting excursion but not very me, probably!

And I got obsessed with faces for a while...

... full of rainbow colours.

I'm still fascinated by how changing the colours will change the mood.

Some of them turned out to be whole figures.  I never in my life thought I'd end up with little girls appearing in front of me on the page.

There are also some sketchy figures in action.  I've doodled active figures for a while in the margins of my scripts (inspired by the stage action going on in front of me during technical rehearsals, when there are often long periods with not much happening that I have to pay close attention to).

I started with rough sketches in watercolour pencil, and used a water brush to add more shading.

I suppose it's no coincidence that I got hooked on faces and figures whilst I was in the midst of making my Elizabethan dollshouse dolls.

I even took a little sideways journey into some whimsical birds - this little chap is one of many.  I suppose they're still part of that exploration of expressive faces in a way.

I had a glorious time combining the watercolours with my much-loved mixed media texture during a brief window of time in my actual craft room.

As always, the exploring and the learning are the main excitements for me... 

... finding out what the paints will do, and trying to work out how they and I fit together best.

These pages feel like a really exciting part of the journey, and I know there's more to explore here.  Trees feature again, you'll notice.

Then there are these florals which keep cropping up.

I guess it's partly the wonderful Tim Holtz coneflower stamp which inspired me to head towards daisies.

But they're also a relatively simple thing to draw, and drawing is an area where I need lots of practice.

It's nice to start with something which gives you pleasing results fairly early on.

I really enjoyed this version done over some watercolour ground applied quite roughly to the page.  The scrumptious texture took all the pressure out of trying to get my drawing "right".

And the flowers have continued to come alive right here in New York.... some more daisies, in varying hues!

I got some fabulous decorative thistles to put in the large mason jars in my apartment...

... so I thought I'd have a go at trying to capture them on paper.

And then there's the relaxation of just mixing colours for fun...

I'm so glad I thought of bringing the wonderful colour wheel stamp from this fabulous stamp set by Andrea Ockey Parr with me.

It's great when you just want to clear your head by playing with colour.

And sometimes that inevitably leads on to yet more florals...!

I'm not going into details with any of this right now, partly because when I do have a spare hour I find I want to play with the watercolours rather than write a blogpost.  As you know, my blogposts tend to be rather lengthy, so they eat up time!

But it's also partly because I've got plans for some of these, and I'll share the work in more detail if and when I get the ball rolling with those plans later in the year.  In the meantime, I hope this post will have whetted your appetite for more.

And I do hope you'll be able to pop back and visit again between now and the end of June... I promise it will be worth your while.  For now - given that it's 1.30am, I'll just say thank you so much for stopping by, have a lovely day, and happy crafting, all.

You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.
Maya Angelou
(Yes, thank you, Maya - but what about the time needed to play with it all?!)


chrissie said...

So good to see you blogging again and also to hear that you are working hard on another Shakespeare production in New York. It sounds like hard work so it is good to know you get some 'ME time and do creative crafty things.

Very beautiful paintings and especially love the face one.

Take Care Alison and I look forward to all the things you have in
Love and hugs Chrissie xx

Marci said...

Loving your daisies, little girls, well, all of it. Happy watercoloring!

craftytrog said...

Hi Alison! Great to see you blogging your lovely watercolour experiments again. Looking forward to reading about your new, exciting adventure.

pearshapedcrafting said...

Oh My! So good to see you back here and with such wonderful treats to see! Love the plants and those beautiful faces! Intrigued to know what's coming next!!! Hugs, Chrisx

Andrea Small said...

Beautiful. Happy, anticipatory sigh...

Andrea xx

My name is Erika. said...

Stunning watercolors. Worth the wait.

hazel said...

Wonderful watercolours, l love the florals and faces.
xxx Hazel.

Deb Riddell said...

Lovely to see your beautiful watercolours Alison and can't wait to learn your news, wishing you every success! Deb

brenda said...

Thank you so much for your visit today Alison, afraid I have been a rather bad blogger as well but I'm between ops so catching up a little.

It must be so hard travelling and deciding what crafty things to take but looks to me as though watercolour products were the prefect answer and I am of course loving your daisies. Bought a new release PB daisy stamp a couple of weeks ago but yet to play.

B x

Annie said...

Wow Wow and another wow!!! Just loving these amazing watercolour experiments and the fabulous faces. You should do more with the whimsical style...i really like that bird xx

Looking forward to hearing your news too

Sending my best wishes
Annie xx

froebelsternchen said...

You do right to take some art time for you apart from the hard work you do!
You are such a talented watercolour artist - I love all what you show us here! Go on with watercolours Alison!
Wish you good luck for the Shakespeare production and time enough for all your Mixed Media and watercolour projects!
Thank you for visiting my blog - even though you have only limited time for blogging!I greatly appreciate that. !
oxo Susi

Helen said...

I have missed your posts, and what a delight this one is, full of this that and the other... I love the flowers you've sketched. There seems to be no limit to what you can do, creativity wise!

Paper Profusion said...

These are all so very lovely Alison!! Gorgeously free ! You most certainly already have amassed super watercolour techniques and skills. Looking forward to hearing your news. Have a fab time in NYC ! Nicola x

Meggymay said...

It was good to read a post from you today Allison. Your water colours are beautiful.
I look forward to hearing your news.
Yvonne xx

Inky and Quirky Designs said...

So lovely to have you back Alison and you've really treated our eyes to some glorious creations too. I shall hold my breath for your exciting news :)
Donna xx

Mrs.B said...

Lovely to see you blogging again Alison and such a delight to see your watercolour pieces, all so beautiful.
Looking forward to finding out what's in store over the next few weeks.
Avril xx

Kate Yetter said...

I love what you have been doing with the watercolors. Beautiful faces. When I was painting, I loved painting faces.There is something so satisfying about capturing a face. :) Looking forward to your big announcement.

Brenda Brown said...

You really have been busy in your grabbed moments of creativity and like lots of others I am loving your watercolour experiments and the wonderful eclectic ways you are playing with them, it's certainly an area I hope we'll see lots more of. Looking forward to seeing what else is unfolding soon. Good luck with the production, I'm sure it will be a great success. Huge hugs xxx

Astrid Maclean said...

Great to see all these wonderful water colour experiments, I specially love the flowers and those more mixed media experiments with the textures peeping through. Having said that the faces are very sweet too. Practice makes perfect and they are getting better and better!! Now I can't wait to see what you are planning to do with them. Looking forward to seeing what else will come our way! And good you are still able to take some me time inbetween all that other creative endeavour!

Redanne said...

You have been missed Alison! It is lovely to see your experiments here and what wonderful experiments they are, I particularly love the way you transformed those people sketches and gave them life! The daisies are all fantastic and those thistles are incredibly beautiful... Looking forward to hearing your news and seeing more of your watercolours. Anne xx

Dorthe said...

Dear Alison, I so admire your watercolors ,- they are so very beautiful, so different, but beautiful. The daisies oh so lovely, ,I love they are not really defined , but kind of just discerned. Also your blue people are fascinating , and wow your snow weather tree , Stunning!!
A very wonderful review with you, -and thank you so much for your visits to my blog, and T.C , too.
Now waiting with excitement to see what all the news and the celebration, are all about :-) Hugs, Dorthe

Monika Gulyas said...

Oh my god Alison! You've proved it again how talented you are!!! Beautiful watercolour creations with beautiful mixed colours!!! All fabulous!!! Keep it up, Alison!!! Big hugs

rachel said...

so good to see all your watercolour work Alison - you certainly have been very busy producing beautiful florals and faces and mixing colours - amazing work and I look forward to the flurry of imminent activity! Big hugs Rachel x

Lynne Moncrieff said...

It has been a joyful visit, even if I have to make it shorter than I would wish.
To dip into your creative journey of recent times and see the progress you are making with your watercolour art, what a treat it is.

Julie Lee said...

What a joy this post is! It's been so exciting to see all that you've been exploring and discovering! How do you find the time in your incredibly busy life? I love all the experiments! The water-colour faces are expressive and the little girl looks like she might have a story to tell - and that quirky little bird. You have always created such sensitive and evocative nature themed projects and it's lovely to see your creativity flourishing among trees and florals of your own. I'm inspired now to play with watercolour on all manner of surfaces! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful, delicate work. xx

Diana Taylor said...

Oh my goodness, these are amazing - you have such a sensitive and delicate touch with watercolours - they are all so very beautiful. The flowers just sing to me - and I would happily have all your paintings hanging on my wall!
So glad you are finding the time to share your beautiful work with us - thank you - it's always a joy to visit your blog.

SewPaperPaint said...

Wow Alison! You have been one busy lady and we all enjoy seeing your beautiful productivity. I am in love with the thistle!! Spectacular progress in such a short time.

Lys said...

Sure you have been busy... and these watercolours are just wonderful! I especially love your search about faces: they have such a depth in their expressions. And I love walking in your garden too.

Nikki Acton said...

Wow almost missed this! These are seriously stunning... watercolour is so hard yet you have really mastered it. Love how you are leaving white space and nothing is overworked - just enough! xx

Barbara said...

Stunning watercolor! I admire your ability, wonderful! Your post is absolutely amazing!Barbara

Cocofolies said...

No shock, no horror, just a wonderful travel among flowers and faces using your watercolour paints, for our greatest pleasure Alison!
Loving everything. So beautiful...
I envy you for your tremendous talent in every way!!! :-)
Looking forwatd to seeing the exciting news and posts to come. xx

Anneke said...

Your work looks amazing! You can be proud!

Julia said...

Oh my goodness, these are so lovely. The faces are adorable and the flowers are dreamy. I very much looking forward to seeing some more. x

Hazel Agnew said...

Saw this post a while ago and had to save it till I had time to digest! You so put me to shame with your experiments Alison. Just my thing and you probably have less time than me but, somehow, I faff about and don't get round to such important matters.
I need to tie a knot into something to remind me how wasteful I am with my time.
Your experiments are glorious and your sketching has grown in confidence and is so splendid!
As usual you have made me think and I must get my watercolour paints down from the shelf!
Your wonderful talent is knowing just when to stop! Fantastic! Xx 😜

sarascloset said...

Well, Alison, I sure did enjoy my cup of coffee with you this morning, and I am INSPIRED beyond words! And inspired BY your words!There's always that feeling of coming away feeling as if I've just had an actual face to face visit with you, and that makes me so happy!

As for your artwork, I am so impressed with your water coloring, especially the faces and the girls (Oh, and those trees!!!)! I can see stamp making in your future, and I would purchase every one of them. I was actually thinking of your water colors the other day, so I am super excited to see your works as of late!

Excellent choice of quotes and your reaction to it! Sending hugs your way!

Jackie PN said...

What a most fabulous post Alison!! WOW! The creativeness and inspiration is just flowing from you! You are so talented my friend, is there anything you cannot do??
I do love your floras...and I just adore the lil girl that came from watercolors- she is exceptional!
Do you have a favorite watercolor paper you work with the most? I recently worked with some watercolors, but not sure if it was the new paints or the paper used, but i wasn't liking the results!
Anyway, your art always inspires me, and it is always a pleasure to pour over your beautiful art!
huge hugs,Jackie xx

Dortesjs said...

waue I just love all of these they are so so great and very very fine ;O))

Princess Judy Palmer said...

Your post has whetted my appetite to try some water coloring. That's all fine and well while I'm at the desk at work, but will I follow thru when I get home? Who can say? I can say my water color artist friend, puttered with a kiddie set I had on hand and declared them the oddest colors she's ever worked with. I picked up a better set and have yet to play with it. I should put the kiddie set in the free pile I'm taking to my stamp club meeting this weekend. That's where my passions have been lately. I have such little time in the craft room but when I am there I am obsessed with finding out what it in every little nook and cranny--stuff I haven't looked at in years. My thought it most likely I don't need it.

Anyway... on to you, of which your post is about. I love your puttering with watercolor and the flow you get from it. It is interesting to see what your splotches and blobs turn into. Maybe it is even worthy of a psychology study?!

Fliss said...

Playing catch up Alison as I've been suffering from heat overload this week!
So glad I popped over to see such a glorious array of watercoloured artwork. It's all so beautiful and your cute little bird really caught my eye.
Off to view the rest now!
Fliss xx

Margaret said...

Oh my, these are all stunning! I especially love the florals! I have always loved watercolors, but mine tend to get a bit muddy if I attempt anything larger than a card front...

Sue said...

Beautiful watercolouring here Alison, I love how delicate these are and how whimsical the faces xx

Anke said...

WOW WOW WOW beautiful watercolouring, I love the flowers.


Etsuko said...

OH these watercolor paint are so beautiful and great sense of translucence. I love them Alison. xx

A Pink said...

Such a wonderful post! Alison . Your watercolours are absolutely superb and so inspiring. An exceptional but natural talent you have from what I can see.
I'm failing to find words to express just how much I am loving this post .....
its sneak peak/ taster heaven for me
thanks so much for sharing
Take care and be sure to get some sleep
hugs x

Mary Elizabeth said...

Oh ... you know I had to come check out your myriad water colour experiments. I find myself absolutely enamored with the the highlight on the daisies and that enchanting little girl. Loved your conversation with Maya A. Time ... alas ... there's the rub. -- ME