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Experiments With Watercolors

This is not a piece I am very proud of but I did learn a lot from it. I've not ever really used watercolors, except for a dribble here or a dab there, but they have been calling to me a lot recently. I decided it was time to spend some time investigating the potential. I expect to experiment with them for some now as they have managed to enchant me.

What did I learn from this experiment?
  • don't OVER WORK a piece - leave when you first think it's done
  • apply washes in LIGHT layers
  • THINK AHEAD - plan for anything you want to add later on. If you wait you'll get a piece that is over worked and will take more time to try to save! Saves on frustration.
  • ENJOY the feel of the paint on the paper. There's nothing quite like it.
I did the lettering first in several complimentary colors using fine tipped pens. It made the piece WAY too busy and distracting. I almost threw it away at that point but I went to bed instead. This morning I decided to darken the letters and make all of the writing one colors - using a thicker black nib. It helped but I still wanted something else. I added a partial overlay of a rayon silk, transparent-when-wet, paper. That managed to tone down some of the frenetic quality and it softened the image a bit - which is what I wanted.  It's still a NOT favored piece but I am glad for the lessons and have another piece in mind which I will hopefully be more pleased with. 

The problems with this piece began way before the letters were added. It was lovely and soft but I used darker colors to define some lines and areas and that's where it started to go wrong. Had I added the words before I added darker colors - and used the lettering as the definition it would have produced a much more pleasing image. That's why I mentioned to stop when you are first happy with the look!
Despite the decidedly busy nature of the colors it brought to mind a poem about silence by Sri Chimoy from " Songs of the Soul". I paraphrased the portions I used but the entire poem is copied below.


"......My silence bridges the gulf between my life's success and my life's failure. My silence does not magnify my defects. Nor does it connive at them. My silence transforms my defects into strength indomitable.

My silence is a climbing flame that warms my world of despair. My silence is my inner light. No problem of mine can defy solution. My silence is a selfless distributor of joy to ever-widening horizons.

In my silence I become a man of sterling character, a prolific writer, a voracious reader, a divine lover, a profound inspirer and a triumphant liberator.

In my deep silence I never become a victim to ignorance, the greatest calamity that can befall any human being. In my growing silence I am convinced that even as a man on this earth I shall be able to reach heights, transcendental, divine.

My glowing silence alone can accelerate my Godward march.

My spreading silence makes me see, feel and possess satisfaction, unalloyed satisfaction. 
No more have I to let loose a tirade of tenebrous dissatisfaction.

In activity and vitality I proudly and wrongly feel that I shall have to take care of the whole world. In the heart of silence I humbly and unmistakably realise that it is the Divinity within the world that took care, takes care and shall for ever take care of the entire world.

Silence is my unceasing petition. Silence is my unreserved preparation. Silence is my unlimited realisation. Silence is the unfathomable fount of my life here on earth, there in Heaven.

What God's Silence is . . . is the Eternal Truth. What God's Silence serves is the Eternal Purpose. What God's Silence becomes is the inevitable Fulfilment......"

(Songs of the Soul by Sri Chinmoy )


  1. I'm very heavy handed with paint and rarely plan ahead.

  2. Ah, those elusive watercolors. I just can't seem to get it right. Right now I am working on Yupo, which, just possibly, might be even harder to work on than paper.
    Your work looks good to me, but only you know what you intended.
    Long time reader of your blog. I believe yours was the first blog I bookmarked at the time.


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