Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Mother's Hands

 From My Mother's Sketchbook, Pencil on paper.     Florence "Flossie" McRae

It's been a long time since I've posted. Caring for my Mom as she declined and then dealing with her death absorbed every bit of me for quite a while. She died peacefully. I was with her and I will always be grateful to have had that precious time with her. She was an artist, a watercolor painter of big splashy flowers, birds, and sky reflecting in the sea that she lived beside. 

 My Mothers Hands, Watercolor on paper, 2012.      Peggy Sue McRae

Before she died I photographed her hands. Her long fingers shaped by age, a brilliant manicure and sparkling diamond wedding ring spoke to me of her life, the many tasks those hands engaged in with brilliance and flair. I painted this watercolor from the photographs. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Postcards from Maui

If you lug your paints with you all the way to Maui you really do have to take them out at some point between the bobbing around in warm ocean water, watching whales, and scaling volcanoes to put brush to paper.

 Maui Palms and Surf - Watercolor on Paper - Maui 2012

Having gone from the snowy Pacific Northwest to the artsy, surfer town of Paia on Maui this winter was a real treat if not an outright miracle. The local beach was a highlight of my trip and the visual elements that struck me the most were the tall graceful vertical trunks of the Palm Trees standing against the rolling horizontal waves of the surf.

 Maui Valley with Palms and Surf - Watercolor on Paper - Maui 2012

Another dramatic visual was the plunging symmetrical triangle shape of certain mountains and valleys. In this painting I played with bringing those shapes into my palm/surf juxtaposition. 

 Painting Palm Trees on the Kitchen Table at Poni Place

I always like working at a kitchen table best and the nice thing about this kitchen table is that it had a big circulating fan right above it. Watercolor is great for travel. All you need is an old tuna can for water and as I discovered rummaging through my friend's recyclables, an inside out milk carton makes a fine watercolor palette.