New painting “The Mountains Beckon”

This large painting was just completed and hung at Tumalo gallery this month.  I worked on it for an unusually long time, trying to reconcile the foreground.  The mountains and sky practically painted themselves, but the grasses and stream would not settle down!

I finally had to crop off some of the bottom of the painting, which is easy to do on a pastel.There was just too much of it.  The composition is one I’ve done several times, although each painting has its own challenges and rewards.

Marty Stewart’s Watercolor Journal

Whenever and wherever I travel, I always take a watercolor journal, both to enjoy the pleasures of painting and to record impressions from where I went.This recent journal recorded some of the images from my trip to Maui.
The cover is an abstract design, created simply by drawing a few lines, then seeing where the next line might go, and then to a shape, and what the next shape might be, and so on in a rhythmic pattern, adding color in the same way.
One of the best things about my watercolor journal is that it is completely for me; that is, not to be framed or displayed or sold. This “no expectations” approach makes it a most relaxing and pleasurable pursuit.
By making small “frames” on each page, I am able to paint several scenes on one page. The small format ensures I have plenty of time to complete the subject; in this case those range from beach scenes to flowers near the lanai, to ancient tree trunks, and more. And the colors of Hawaii are endlessly fun to paint!
The watercolor journal gives me the opportunity to take time to sit and look, and also reflect as I paint. I often add these thoughts or phrases that come to me as I paint, or that reflect events of the time. For example, my son became engaged while we were there, which brought to me the saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. It seemed to go with the idea of two people joining their lives together—don’t you think?