"Behind Reginelli's, Gray Day, 2004", watercolor, 14 x 22
Love is a funny thing; you miss it when it's not there, and maybe, take it just a bit for granted when it is.
Years ago, I began playing with watercolor. Played with it here and there, for a few months at a time....and years went by as I pursued a livelihood with pastel portraits and oil paintings.
Every now and then I'd pick watercolor up again, only to be greatly frustrated; it takes several months of daily practice to "hit my stride", feel comfortable enough that I can paint without being self conscious about every stroke.
Invariably though, after a few days of practice, the entire world looks different, luminous. I start seeing with eyes that imagine how to paint everything in watercolor and, amazingly, even McDonald's looks beautiful! At times, watercolor seems like the most impossible of mediums; every small accomplishment makes me want to sing!
On the next rainy morning, I'll photograph recent starts. When the light's up, I'm rushing out to paint....and results are slow. I'm again playing with watercolor. Experimenting. I know that I don't want colored drawings as much as I want watercolor paintings.....but I need to be patient, it will come.
I'm working primarily in a section of New Orleans, Lakeview, that was severely damaged by the storm. For a full two years after Katrina, I couldn't paint there. Every block looked like a wasteland, with doors open swinging in the breeze, like a stage set for a spaghetti Western. Only Clint was missing.... Copper theft [plumbing, fixtures, gutters] was a huge problem for quite some time in the area. Now the neighborhood looks so good, it's amazing to see the few houses on each block that have not yet been re-done or knocked down. And those are the houses which have captured my eye.