The last breath of night
Rushes over her.
As the sun rises,
The colors from her pastel palette
Begin to spread across the sky.
She becomes part of the landscape.
The light engulfs her
And the colors become her.
Long held dreams fade
As a new day arrives
A memorial to the past
Is all that remains
The music of the day begins
With a new song to sing.
by Cheryl McDonald, 2022©
If you would like to listen to me read this poem, please click below.
My last post was kind of a downer. Yeah I know, the world is a messed up place right now. Is it more so than back in the 90’s when I did the pencil painting “Revelations or Renovations” ? Probably not on the grand scale, however, because we are so inundated with media that tells us up-to-the-minute happenings around the world, it certainly feels like it.
Today I thought I would post about a painting that has been a wonderful meditation piece for me since I did it. It is called “An Ode to Georgia”.
When I painted this in 2004, I was experimenting with what I call Intuitive Watercolor. When using this process, I start with the three primary colors choosing hues in either a cool family or a warm family. I try to choose colors that I think would make a nice combination. I will often make a small practice piece to see how they worked together and how they make me feel. Because there is no subject to start with on this kind of painting it doesn’t matter if the colors match anything, they just have to work comfortably together.
This painting was done on a full sheet (22”x 30”) of 300# watercolor paper. I wet the page and using a loaded brush just start laying down one color at a time anywhere I feel led, and on to the next color and so on adding all three colors. Then I lift the page and start tilting it to let the colors start to run into each other. The point is to just guide color or add more as you like. While you are doing this you may start to see something emerge, often they remind me of a landscape of someplace I have been. While working with this painting I started to see the back of a woman standing and leaning to the left side of the page. She seems to be looking off into the distance. Clouds form on the right and colors of a sunrise in the desert form throughout the painting. Once I saw this image I stopped and let the paper dry. It already reminded me of a Georgia O’Keefe painting.
After about a week of just allowing it to be where I could see it regularly, I realized how I wanted to finish it. This antelope skull which belonged to a friend needed to be superimposed over the top of the watercolor. I drew that in graphite. I love the effect, it is a very enchanting piece, I think.
What I love about O’Keefe’s work is that it is spiritual and sensual. She does not shy away from color, but she does not knock you over the head with it either. I find it spiritual, not in a religious way, but in more of a cosmic way and the sensuality seems to invoke all of your senses. She uses scale and composition in unusual ways and really explores a subject thoroughly. If you are not familiar with her work, there are many websites available, you can read more than you want to know, I am sure!
The poem was written in the last couple of days. I am finding early mornings a good time to sit with my coffee and the puppies near by sleeping, a good time to write. It’s kind of exciting to be writing all of these things that before would not come.
So I hope you enjoy this story, if you are inclined to play with watercolor, or acrylic, give this method a try. It requires no drawing skills and can be quite fun creating something from nothing. Keep an eye out for images that emerge and once the paint drys use whatever medium or method you like to accentuate what you have found.
Until next week or at least the next post,
Have a Happy Day!
One thought on “An Ode to Georgia”
Love the Ode to Georgia! Thanks for explaining your process. Beautiful colors.
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