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...

Friday, 9 November 2018

Autumn Watercolours

Hello all!  Apologies for the long silence here - no words or pictures for ages.  It's mostly being busy with other things and my mental energy being engaged with future plans, and partly just that slight slump which arrives as winter creeps towards us, the lack of light as the clocks go back, and that feeling of preparing for hibernation.

Before we end up in full on winter, I thought I ought to fulfil my promise to share some of the autumnal watercolours I dabbled in during my recent stay in the Czech Republic.

If you missed the glorious tree colours and landscapes which inspired me, do go and enjoy some Czech Autumn Splendour.

These are by no means "finished" paintings... they're all watercolour sketches and experiments and part of the learning curve.

There was a sneak peek of this first tree in my previous post, but here it is in full.

I got the little music book at the bric-a-brac stall in the market of a neighbouring village.  It's not a large book - about 7.5 x 5.5 inches - so the music is tiny.  It's for people to study or follow along with the score, as opposed to playing from it.

I'm afraid neither of those activities was on my list... it was all about the paint!

Lots of old book pages are very porous, sucking up moisture, but there's a slight sheen on these, so you do get quite a lot of play with the paint.

Once the first layer had dried, I added some more leafy splendour and some delicate splatter.

I was travelling very craft-light this time.  Just a small box of watercolours, some charcoal, a pot of gesso and a couple of ink pads (Vintage Photo Distress and Coffee Archival)...

... and the only stamps I travelled with were my own set of autumnal quotes (PaperArtsy EAB04 The Autumn Edition).

I figured that if I had time for any crafting, it was likely to be autumnal...

I love how the glow of the leaves still reveals the music underneath.

Some slightly deeper ground shadows, and some more detailing on the trunk, and I decided it was best left alone.

In the previous post, you saw some of the glorious countryside near to where I'll be migrating to - but of course all you really need to do is step outside the back door.  This is the view from the terrace at the back of the house.

And this is my very quick and rough attempt to capture the colours I could see as I sat sipping my coffee one morning, looking down into the garden, past the neighbour's house (on the right) and shed (on the left), across the valley to the hills beyond.

It's a double page spread in the Strathmore Visual Journey 5.5 x 8 journal - on cold press watercolour paper.  (I had that with me too.)

One of these days, I may try some sketching before I start, but this was just paint to paper.  I know the perspectives are maybe a little skewed, but it was the mood as much as anything else I wanted to try to grab, and particularly the glow of that plum tree.

I like the sunlit glare of the white wall of the shed - though that tree is definitely not in the right place.  Ah well, artist's licence, right?!

This one is really very rough and loose, even at the end - though in some ways I like the very earliest, roughest sketch most of all.

When I tried to get too precise, I liked it less, but there was a definite lesson learned about being braver with my darks.  I added the extra shadows and deep darks after I'd looked again properly.

They give the whole thing much more depth, and as a result a better glow to the white wall, and for a first landscape from life I don't hate it completely.  It's good practice with the watercolours and with looking, but not my favourite thing to do so far.

And finally, an imaginary stand of trees, again in the Strathmore journal...

I like it when it's coming from my imagination - then I can't beat myself up for getting it "wrong".  It is what it is.

These ones were also paint to paper, but there's a bit of added pen work later on, using my dipping pen and walnut ink (oh yes - I had brought those too... not as light in my packing as I'd remembered!).

Again, it started with a very loose bit of watercolour washing and daubing, and I gradually added more detailing as layers dried.

I love the drift of golden colour into the sky - all done by the paint itself, of course, just doing what watercolour does.

But it seems a good reflection of the soaring spirits I experienced every time I looked across the valley, or we drove through the changing colours of the Czech landscape.

I do like the detail of the penwork (and I really enjoyed doing it)... 

... and the shadows under the trees seem to work pretty well.  Of course there had to be splatter.

I'm not sure it needed the quote, but I quite like having it there.  And after all this is Words and Pictures.

And the autumnal glow of the trees makes me almost as happy on the page as it does in real life, so that's a win.

Oh look, I've just found a lovely panorama of the view from the terrace... here you go!  This was a week or so later - the plum tree's leaves have mostly fallen, and the hedge has been trimmed, but the trees in the valley are starting to show their best colours. Try clicking on the photo for the full screen effect.  

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I have finally made it back into the craft room for the first time since my return, so I'm hoping that will trigger some more making to share with you soon.  And I'll be round for a catch up too... I've been missing you all!  Have a lovely weekend, whatever you're up to, and I'll see you soon.

I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.
Nathaniel Hawthorne

I'd like to join in with Paint Party Friday - a gathering I've always admired from afar, but haven't really been "painty" enough to play along much before now!


Linda Kunsman said...

Oh my gosh- your watercolor paintings are so beautiful! You have truly captured the beauty of the season. Thanks so much for sharing your process too. I don't know where you're moving to but it looks quite lovely. Happy PPF!

Paper Profusion said...

Fantastic watercolours Alison! Love the shots taken from your terrace - I remain in awe of your sense of adventure and bravery! Talk about a view being 'a breathe of fresh air'! An exceptional autumn foliage display here too this year, maybe due to hot summer. Horrible rain and wind today though will have eroded some of the colour. Have a lovely weekend. Nicola x

sirkkis said...

I agree Linda, your watercolor painting are really good. Love the pages you created.
Happy PPF 💗

Valerie-Jael said...

As a great fan of everything autumn I am, of course, really enamoured with your beautiful photos and atmospheric water colours, BIG wow! Have a great weekend, happy PPF, hugs, Valerie

Helen said...

I am very envious of you moving to such stunning scenery. Your water colours are fabulous; I love them.

Christine said...

Lovely work!

Gillena Cox said...

Thanks for sharing autumn by your art
Happy PPF


Jane said...

Hi Alison, lovely to see you back. Your watercolours are absolutely stunning, gorgeous work. Your view is also beautiful and inspirational too. Enjoy being back to your craft room. Hugs xxx

Clare Lloyd said...

Beautiful watercolour

Lisabella Russo said...

Oh your trees are so very lovely! They're wonderful.

Amanda said...

I love your collection of watercolours and how lovely to create from such a limited collection of art supplies. Can’t wait to see your next creation as your back in your craft room
Amanda x

Meggymay said...

Your water colour painting look beautiful Alison, the autumn colours look lovely. I can see how you were inspired by the view from your terrace that you shared.
Yvonne xx

Redanne said...

The view from the terrace is so lovely and I think, with your paint to paper technique, you captured it beautifully! We are having the most wonderful autumn here (and clearly there too) and I can totally understand your desire to capture those golden sunlit trees, which you have beautifully! I hope the plans for the move are going well. Hope you have a lovely weekend. Anne xx

carol l mckenna said...

Lovely and exquisite watercolor art work on the varied papers ~ favorite are ones done on the sheet music ~ and beautiful photography ~ you are very talented!

Happy Day to you,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Brenda Brown said...

You’ve captured your surroundings beautifully with a wonderful free painting style that reflects the stunning scenery perfectly. How lovely to sit out on the terrace and paint to your hearts content. Your journals must be full of wonderful colours. Looking forward to January xxx

Dortesjs said...

waue, beautiful watercolour pictures, love the trees and those colours you captured. the photos are great to, taken on a lovely sunny day.

Julia said...

What beautiful Autumn paintings Alison, they are superb. The little music book was a great find and your tree looks fab with the music showing through. Glad to see you back sharing your work. Like you, I have also been struggling to catch up with blogs but was up early this morning so I am glad I did not miss this one. The view from the house is stunning, you have a lot to inspire you there. X

Astrid Maclean said...

I have been looking forward to seeing your watercolours and wow, they certainly don't disappoint!!! I am so impressed with that lovely loose style, something I never seem to manage. A little imperfection in the perspective does not matter at all to my eyes, it's the mood you conveyed, both in the view from the terrace (I am so jealous, - what a place to sit and paint) but also in your imaginary tree scene. The glow of the autumn light and colours is just perfect, but I am almost even more impressed with your skies!!! Fabulous all round, - hope you will keep it going!! Meanwhile, happy hibernating :o)

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

What beautiful watercolour studies Alison, love the first upon the music score. I have a bundle of these just waiting to be used but too scared to approach them.
What lovely views you encountered inspiring in colour and shape, so warming to have caught them upon paper as well as photography. Stunning in every way.
Happy PPF Hugs Tracey xx

Jenn Jilks said...

This is such beautiful work! I really love it.
Your autumn looks much like ours. Ours is done, we have snow today!

Patty O'Malley said...

What a beautiful view you have, Alison! Your watercolored pages are fantastic!

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Gorgeous watercolor artwork. Lovely photos too.

Mac Mable said...

Now someone has had lots of fun creating and experimenting. You haven't had to look far for inspiration in that wonderful countryside. Glorious colour on your creations and love how you've captured the light and also how you sometimes worked on the music sheets. So enjoyed reading your post X

Nan G said...

Fab little watercolor paintings Alison. Looks like your new home has a stunning view. Hope the move goes well. Hugs

Marci said...

Lovely trees and scenes.

Dorthe said...

I adore your watercolors , Alison, beautiful, and with the music page as background, it becomes like a poem .
Also a gorgeous painting of the view over your neighbors place is a gorgeous painting, the colors used making it all live .
The quote is so lovely, too.
Hugs to you, for such beautiful post !! xoxo

Chrissy said...

Wonderful water colouring Alison..I love your views from your terrace and the scene you painted. Your tree on the music paper is superb..I have just bought some wter paints in a tin and started havibng a dabble but need a stamp for a guide still, my brain cannot function free hand yet..lol..


Roosterhead Designs said...

Hi Alison,
I usually don't know where to begin in leaving comments on posts, especially when there are so many beautiful things to talk about- like your wonderful watercolors! Each one so beautifully expressed; each one is gorgeous~ (I sure like your autumn stamps too: )
The sheet music painting has really caught my eye! Amazing work~
Great expression and muted detail. (I have a whole box of vintage sheet music waiting for me in CO; next time I visit:)
The view from your terrace is truly amazing! I love the panorama one - and yes, clicking for a close up was worth the effort ; )
Beautiful places to look forward to Alison. So much to inspire you; in many dif. ways.
I'm so glad to make a visit here at your blog! (only, I feel a bit ignorant in that, so many were wishing you a happy ppf? and I don't know what that means!!)LOL
Have a wonderful weekend. So glad to be getting to know you~ karen o

My name is Erika. said...

Oh I know about hibernating. And not only dark now but it is getting really COLD! But I do LOVE your autumn inspired art. The tree on the music sheet is gorgeous Alison. I enjoyed my visit and must look at the Czech autumn post I seemed to have missed. Happy weekend. Hugs-Erika

NatureFootstep said...

wonder fall art! Love it all, but the thought of a tree playing music is beautiful. :)

Craftyfield said...

Kudos for painting from life Alison, these days I don't even try! I love your painting on top of the music score and I bet we'll be seeing more scraps of that paper in future projects...
I totally understand the covetousness re the ostrich stamp... Katzelkraft have released some interesting tings lately that I covet as well!
Relax and enjoy your weekend, xx

DVArtist said...

Wow these are beautiful. Using the music book added a great depth to the art.

Lys said...

Fabulous scenes you managed to paint down so beautifully. I love your Autumn colours and the combination to the music sheet is gorgeous.

Neet said...

You know how much I admire your work but this is a first for me, I think, to see your water-colouring. Alison, you are a wonderful and true artist! What a beautiful set of work you have to show us this week.
The glow of autumn shines through so truly and magnificently in your work. I love it.
The tree on the manuscript deserves to be mounted and framed for the wall.
Hugs, Neet xx

Annie said...

What a talent you have Alison xx Your watercolours are beautiful both on the music sheet and in your journal xx Gorgeous photographs too xx

Sending huge hugs
Annie xx

Diana Taylor said...

Your water colours are absolutely delightful, you have a beautiful touch with the paints and your colours are gorgeous. What a wonderful place, I can fully understand your decision to move there - it looks idyllic.
Diana x

chrissie said...

The autumn colours have certainly inspired you to do beautiful paintings Alison and what a great background the music makes.

Must agree with the words and will continue to make the best of the beautiful colours at this time of year

Thinking of you

Love Chrissie xx

Cocofolies said...

At last I can sit down, and enjoy your post, dearest Alison... I can admire your gorgeous watercolor paintings (they are beautiful above words!!!!), as well as the wonderful view (and colors!!) you had from the back to your house at your last stay with your mother.
I also adore your quotes on this great and still peaceful - and smiling, right - season. I hope I can get them at some time, I wish to.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit yet my own blog too, even if I don't have anymore the time to write detailed posts... I hope things will arrange one day (about my pace of work). Maybe when my little girls will grow up! Fingers crossed :)

Looking forward to your next posts and news,
Hugs xxx

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

You are just so talented! I LOVE your watercolor spreads and the newsprint one I would totally frame and put on the mantle! LOVE!!!

craftytrog said...

Beautiful watercolour art Alison, and such wonderful views from your window too!
Alison x

Gio said...

The watercolor on music paper is splendid, that's it, so rich in colours nd delicate, it really reminds of the Autumn colors. Even with few supplies you make great artworks, Alison, brava!

Abigail Davidson said...

Happy to discover your work - your paintings are gorgeous and beautiful colors! Especially like the effect of the sheet music background and the landscape paintings are lovely!

Soma @ inkTorrents.com said...

You have truly captured the colours of the season. You place is beautiful.


Jackie PN said...

So wonderful to have you back Alison!
Your watercolors are amazing! I mean truly amazing! the paint to paper,shed and plum tree just blew me away! Totally suitable for framing and gallery worthy in my opinion!
thanks for your visit~it was a delight to read your words!
Jackie xo

Nikki Acton said...

Love your watercolour sketches and oooh I must now go back and see more of the Czech pics on your previous post. Hope the craft room is seeing a little more of you! xxx

pearshapedcrafting said...

Wow Alison! Your watercolours are stunning - mind you with such inspiration to spur you on I am hardly surprised! You really have captured the sunlight on those trees! Hope your plans are going well! Apologies for arriving here so late - time is on a gallop at the moment! Hugs, Chrisx

sally said...

There really is something quite magical abthe golden glow of autumn. I love the greens of spring but the hues of autumn really do warm my heart even though they signal the waning of the year.

Sallly xx

froebelsternchen said...

You put your wonderful views in excellent watercolour pages dear Alison! So beautiful made!


Big nugs, Susi