Black Locust Tree and Bash Bish Falls in Gouache

I finally feel like my inspiration and motivation are reviving after being mostly absent for much of 2020. While I have sketched a great deal, especially from our front porch in Maine (Front Porch Sketches and More Front Porch Sketches), I haven’t often had the mental energy to do more than very quick sketches. I am realizing more and more how much stress and grief and illness can drain one’s creative energy. But now that my creative spark is returning, I am finding it is both energizing and calming at the same time to immerse myself in meditative sketching or painting. I am very thankful to be getting my brushes wet again and to be playing with paint and ink.

A couple weeks ago a friend who does amazing renditions of Van Gogh’s and some other artists’ paintings suggested I paint the same black locust tree I had done in ink (images in my last post) with vivid colors. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but I decided to pull out my gouache and go a bit wild with color. I sat in my yard (under a cedar tree that showered me with prickly needles) and painted, trying to capture the light on the trunk of the tree. And that got me revved up to paint with gouache, so next I pulled out a sketch I’d done on location and a photo of Bash Bish Falls in Massachusetts (can’t go there now because of Covid, so a sketch and photo had to do) and imagined being there as I painted.

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