Let’s open the box again

The watercolour paint box was exactly where I had left it from the moment the last picture was painted and completed some two month’s ago and the little sketch pad lay nearby in the art cupboard along with other painting materials.

I had fully intended to paint the small sketch of the sea and hills and rocks on the coast at Seahouses in Northumberland drawn on our last visit there. Simply never got round to it – it was always going to be painted early next morning, a lovely quite time to paint. However my tomorrow took weeks and weeks to arrive. Good intentions are pretty feeble if not carried through, as we all well know.

Dorothy triggered it off, by buying a cut-price painting CD from the reduced counter at ‘The Range’ a large retail store in south Leeds. It was a surprise gift and it made me feel guilty about my lack of effort in the art department at home.

Next morning with the birds singing in the garden, not exactly the dawn chorus, but it very early as the determined artist stood to attention by the easel, he had caught ‘tomorrow’ in the morning light.

It was time to open the box. The moment had finally arrived. Disappointment dampened the box opening ceremony for the colours were off colour, dull, hardened each colour lifeless and cracked through lack of water and use. Less than an inspiring start to the session it was more desperation than inspiration when I put the electric kettle on, no not for tea – for boiling water to soften the solid pans of coloured concrete in the box.

Using the small water spray bottle (ex–Windowlene canister in an earlier life) directed the thin jet of hot water into each pan of solid block of colour in the box. Use this practical tip if your paint box requires attention for whatever reason. Don’t throw it away just provide the gagging article with a hot drink, then wait for a while until the pigment eventually softens having taken in the water.

Whilst the painting colours were having a hot bath there was more than enough time to refer to the small 6“by 4“sketch pad and draw the outline on the ¼ imperial sheet of 140lb watercolour paper. At least things were moving in the right direction after weeks of delay and disaster in the box.

So the painting was drawn, painted and completed.  A pleasing unpretentious piece of art, so with proceedings going well now, I decided to paint a second painting of the same scene. The brush, someone said is ‘mightier then a bulldozer’ Instead of the hills coming down to the sea on left as on the first painting, the hills came down to the sea from the right on the second painting with an extra seagull thrown in for good measure. It is easy to move mountains when you know how!

Go on open your paint box, – you can always put the kettle on if necessary!

Be creative and bring some colour into someone’s life.  

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