Thursday, May 30, 2013

Heat Wave Redux

Last summer, during an intense July heat wave, I completed a series of small works on paper, employing colored pencil, watercolor, gouache; the series allowed me to conserve my body heat and not move from in front of the fan in my studio more than necessary. It turned out to be a very fruitful series of drawings, which nourished oil paintings that followed upon them in the fall. Have a look at the post from last summer: here.

Our spring this year, which unfolded so slowly, seemingly reluctantly, and then retreated back to late winter chill last week, has more than caught up with itself today, and we're having an extraordinarily hot afternoon. As it happens, I have just finished a new watercolor which was based on one of the drawings from last year's Heat Waves. The month of May has been a little overwrought, not just the weather, but myself also -- I've been mainlining adrenaline; but working in watercolor is, for me, a wonderful way to remember to breathe and flow. 

I completed my performance season just this afternoon with audition for the next season with Princeton Pro Musica. The hay is ripe for mowing here, and I was too nervous to feel my best, but I think our kind artistic director, Ryan James Brandau, knows well enough what my better days can be. I will one day learn to breathe better with a pounding heart, I hope, allergies or no.

Now I'll spend the next few months on my other artistic goals. With the dropback from the art world, I'll drop back too, from Facebook. I have no travel plans, I just want to sink into my work: to paint, draw, write, continue study in my private voice lessons, and also to get underway a new website, and learn Lightroom. I'd like to also pay a little more attention to what others might need from me -- I've been in survival mode for too long.

Tell me again, how long is summer?

Ravenna Taylor, 2013, watercolor, gouache, pencil, on handmade toned paper, 20 x 19.5 inches

See other smaller new drawings on my tumblr page, Here Today.


  1. actually, summer is only three days long - the first day, the middle, and the end. the first is: oh wow. the second: oh this again! the third: don't leave me! summer is just like life.

    1. Ha, what a fun comment. It reminds me of a conversation I had years ago, with a woman who was not really a painter, but had tried watercolor. She said she found watercolor so difficult to control. Without even thinking about it, I told her that's just what I like about it -- It's like life: you take what happens, and try to make something of it!


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