The Silence of Reflection – Watercolour on French ARCHES paper, 72 x 53cm
I’m proud to release my latest original fine art – The Sunset Collection, a small range of watercolour works on paper in my signature black and white but with hints of dusty pinks, peach and blue. They are inspired by sunsets at the beach and the exhilaration of watching the last of the light for the day bathe the headland, beach and sea in it’s warm glow before disappearing to greet the other side of the world.
I’ve been inspired to paint in colour since winter but have had a few art projects on for group shows that meant my focus needed to be on the local mountains that I usually paint and also in black and white (see the work in my current group show at the end of this post). But, I believe that good things come to those that wait and I knew I needed to have patience and trust in myself to let the day come where I would empty out my entire watercolour paint jar on my art desk, instead of just plucking out the black tube.
Existence of Mystery – Watercolour on French ARCHES paper, 71 x 52cm
‘The position of the artist is humble. He is essentially a channel.’ Piet Mondrian
It was with this quote in mind that I started seeing colour as something I could indeed interpret. All I had to do was start with what I new in the way of black and white, then experiment and play with colour from there. Fundamental to this new challenge was to enjoy myself, to immerse myself in creating, to feel my sense of purpose for this unexplored coloured territory and to acknowledge but push aside all fear and doubt and just be, just paint.
Illumination at Dusk – Watercolour on French ARCHES paper, 72 x 53cm
I had been gathering a lot of inspiration from various sunset captures that either I had taken during walks in the mountains or from friends on Instagram as well as those that my husband had taken for me from his work in the mountains. The colours in the evening skies started to fill my mind with potential colour palettes and I new it was just a matter of time to when I would finish my current projects and would then allow myself to start dabbling in colour. The way the light combined a bright blue sky into midnight blue with a soft, golden light that covered everything in it’s path was enough for me to know intuitively what colours to choose.
Last of the Light – Watercolour on French ARCHES paper, 52.5 x 33.5cm
So while the visual inspiration for these works came from the sun’s last light the internal inspiration came from a place of trying to calm the overwhelm and to cope with stress during a very busy time in my life. During this time we were selling our house privately and I had a long list of cleaning and tidying jobs to get the house up to scratch for sale and then continuous open homes and viewings not to mention still having paintings to create for 2 shows and only working 3 days a week.
While I am very much an advocate for not being so busy that I can’t enjoy my daily life and I take great pride in not filling my days with so many things to do and subsequently living in the past or fear of the future through stress. But sometimes life is busy and I realised I had to accept that. I spent far too many years consumed by stress prior to returning to painting that my life now is incomparable to what it used to be. I have learnt some great strategies for fighting the overwhelm and stress of busy times and they’re surprisingly easy to implement. All it took was prioritising increased self care and instead of the usual ‘I’m too busy to go to yoga or meditate or walk the dog’ to realise that this is EXACTLY what I needed to help calm the feelings of inadequacy and fear of never being finished.
‘Stress is caused by being ‘here’ and wanting to be ‘there’. ‘ Eckhart Tolle
Last of the Light
I came to realise that procrastination (disguised as self care) was key to winning the stress battle. It couldn’t be any old ‘oops, I’ll just browse my feed or check my emails then start reading the latest news from my favourite blogs.’ kind of procrastination. It needed to be built into the busy schedule and adhered to. So much so that I coined the term ‘creative procrastination’ for myself. All I had to do was schedule and make the time for a little drawing or meditating or reading before launching into my day and ticking off the tasks. It only would take half an hour each morning to sip my coffee and enjoy the silence of drawing and I then would feel like I had started the day off calmly and with intention. To be completely honest I found I enjoyed and relished this time so much I would often stretch it out to an hour and then really start my day feeling inspired and filled with contentment.
Later on I would once again prioritise a good few hours in my studio to meditate, ponder and of course paint. I truly feel that because I allowed myself time amongst the chaos to reconnect with myself that I have managed to produce these new colour works quite freely and with great success ( and surprisingly no failures!) Failure though is something I believe very strongly in and advocate for learning and growth but I won’t elaborate on that now, I’ll save that for another post!
Below are photos from my current group show, The Wanaka 8 at Central Stories Museum in Alexandra (Central Otago). It is an exhibition featuring eight notable Wanaka artists each with their own distinctive style. I chose to focus my work on interpretations of the Wanaka landscape but not distinctive landmarks. I also felt drawn to creating work that was of a very minimal nature allowing the silent white areas space to contrast with the textured and deliberate black areas.
At the Wanaka 8 group show opening at Central Stories Museum, Alexandra. Show on until Sunday 27th November.
Works left to right: All Watercolour on French ARCHES paper
Top Left: ‘Believe in yourself’ $950 SOLD,
Bottom Left: ‘All that you need is inside you’ $950,
‘The Fulfillment Within’ $1500,
‘Happiness Found’ $750
‘Resounding Calm’ $750
Contact Maurice for a show catalogue if you are interested in purchasing any of these works firstname.lastname@example.org
Shop ‘The Sunset Collection’