After struggling with acrylic paint along the ocean side in Mexico, I have been painting in my sketchbook with water colour and enjoying the quick results on the 5 1/2 x 7 1/2" pages of water colour or computer paper. I decided to paint larger in water colour instead of struggling with acrylic in the heat and humidity. I had already painted the house on the left in my sketchbook. I loved these two small houses painted in the wonderful colours they choose. The home on the right was decorated for Christmas. As electricity is very expensive, most of the homes decorated with Christmas lights are non-Mexicans. I loved the contrast of the beautiful and bright homes to the unfinished concrete building as their background.
11" x 15" Water colour on water colour paper #20126219
This painting is from a photo my friend Sue took of an outdoor stall filled with every variety of Poinsettias in Melaque, Mexico. Gord and I are wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas celebration from sunny Mexico.
"Nature's Christmas Decoration"
15" x 11" Acrylic on water colour paper #20125219
I have been getting up early walking down to the ocean to watch the fishermen and sunrise. I found the pre-sunrise, sunrise and views of the fisherman were breath taking. The fishermen were so busy working that the beauty around them was not being noticed which is the case when most of us are concentrating on something, everything else is secondary. The billowing clouds are very different than I am used to in Calgary, Canada. Holidays are such a wonderful time to reconnect to nature and our surroundings (especially with a paint brush in hand!).
"Sky Lit Waters"
15" x 11" Acrylic on water colour paper #20124219
"Beautiful But Prickly"
14" x 11" Acrylic on water colour paper #20120219
This plant was by the pool at Bungalows Bahai in Melaque Mexico. I loved how the new flowers were blooming so vibrantly while the older ones were duller, there was so much symbolism in that view. The shadows were like a blank canvas and changing the view depending on how much you moved. This plant was beautiful and scary at the same time with all the spikes - literally look but don't touch.
The heat and humidity were really high with the temperatures in the high 34 - 38 degrees Celsius and the humidity make it feel over 44 - 47. The paint was interesting to work with as it stayed liquid until it hit the gessoed water colour paper then it gummed and dried almost instantaneously, great for dry brush work but not much else. I am happy with the final painting but learned a lot about painting this heat.
Marg, Ken and I walked through town and looked at what the vendors had for sale in Melaque Mexico. I was intrigued by the shapes and colours at the fish vendors. With the acrylic paint reacting so strangely in the heat and humidity, dry brushing really worked for this scene.
"Catch Of The Day"
Acrylic on water colour paper, 14" x 11" unframed, #20115219
"Fishing At Sunrise"
11" x 14" Acrylic on water colour paper #
The sunrise's are absolutely stunning with a new light show every morning in Melaque Mexico. Some mornings the colours are orange and purple and other mornings a mix of pinks, blues and purples, really breath taking and amazing - especially through an artist's eye! I am still trying to adapt to how strangely my acrylic paint reacts in the heat and humidity - very hard to move on the gesso'd canvas paper as it dries immediately. Even using water just separates the paint. I am happy with how I captured the view as so many men were working in their boats with a single bulb or no light what so ever. Very intriguing to watch.
"Not A Selfie"
11" x 14" Acrylic on water colour paper, unframed, #20108212
It was interesting to watch this young Mexican girl up early enjoying the sunrise as I do. It was refreshing to see someone trying to capture the beautiful show nature provides without making themselves the centre.
I was able to check a piece of luggage so filled a carry on size with my travel easel, acrylic paints and palette and headed to Melaque, Mexico. I usually enjoy painting with oils but thought the speed of drying, acrylics made more sense. Here is what I found. My palette stayed moist but when I mixed colours on my palette and tried to adhear the paint to the surface, it completely dried so it was almost impossible to get a proper brush stroke!! The temperature was in the mid 30'sC and the humidity had the weather sites reading "feels like 46C". Any movement made my body react like I was in a shower from the inside out, very strange. Any woman who has gone through menopause knows that feeling and it is not comfortable at all. I decided to mix and put my paint on with a palette knife and that worked better. Below is the first pass while I was trying to figure it out and then mid point with the finished painting at the bottom.
14" x 11" Acrylic on water colour paper #20101212
Karen Oliver's Art Journey
Thanks for stopping by to see my art journey and what I am currently working on. If you are looking for previous posts, they can be found on my old blog: http://karen-oliver.blogspot.com/