I’ve been in the watercolor groove for about two months now…something that seems to happen about every year and a half or so. I’ll either treat myself to a period of somewhat careful drawings in pencil, which I feel sharpens me and re-centers me, or go the other way entirely and try to hammer out a group of small, fresh watercolors, which is what has occurred this time.
Erik Spear Fishing, watercolor 11 x 14″
This piece was a complete roadside impromptu. I showed up in the morning with my son’s Scout troop, who were going spear fishing for the first time as a group. While they were out in the bay, I trudged around looking for a subject that I could pull together in about an hour or two.
I finally decided to set up on the side of the highway, shaded by a few trees and parked cars, and get to work on this scene, hoping to find the group returning here, the spot where they set out from. I thought it would supply me with great material, all these wet people clambering about on their return, hauling their gear and excited from their adventure. I had my sketchbook out and ready, but instead, they came ashore behind me, and so I convinced my son to come over and pose for a few minutes while I worked out a sketchbook drawing, which I then placed into the painting.
In typical Hawai’i fashion, I had two pre-teen girls wrapped in beach towels sitting in the shade at the foot of my easel, texting their friends and snacking on treats from the crack-seed store. I almost bailed on this piece and went after that subject instead; it was beautiful…dark hair and skin, white, yellow, and pink towels, and dappled blue shadows over everything, but experience has taught me not to jump ship once I’ve left the dock.
The fishermen came back with some fish, by the way, including a nice octopus which ended up on the barbecue for lunch.