Saturday, April 17, 2010

Red Maple Flowers (watercolour 4 x 6 in.) SOLD!

15 April finds me watching the Nuthatches climbing around on the Red Maple branches from my computer station at the upstairs window. Their presence is a blessing for the tree. I wonder if their movements in foraging, the scratchy little claws, and the pecking and prying and poking, is felt by the tree just as the attentions of a Cowbird hunting for ticks is soothing to the cattlebeast.

I've also been noting, from day to day, the expanding of the Red Maple's flowers from little bright red knobs to pompoms, to tassels. Now on all but the lowest flowers, the leaf buds are emerging like pale green candle flames at the top of each tassel.  I shouldn't wait any longer to paint the flowers, or they'll all be finished. Fred has broken off a twig from a reachable branch, at my request for tree flowers to paint. In this one,  the leaf bud is still closed tightly within its glossy brown scales.

I am doing all the watercolours of my daily painting series on the same paper, Cotman watercolour postcards.  The paper is easy to work on for landscapes as it is a good weight, and takes the washes nicely. Although it takes some effort to compensate for the ripple of its surface in detailed botanical sketches, the colour lifts off easily with a wet brush tip - so it's a trade-off. The texture does makes hand-lettering by brush very hard to do, but overall, it passes the test and will remain my standard paper for the miniature watercolours.

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What do you think of this painting, and what do you know about the subject that I have painted?