w is for watercolor


Mom was a talented artist. This has been a very trying week and I have not gotten upstairs to take pictures of what I want to share. There is a beautiful watercolor of roses that is going with me. She took a watercolor class but ultimately decided that she preferred china painting. The vase above went to a china painting show. I have not found it while I’ve been packing and I’m thinking it is already in my stuff up in my storage unit. I am thwarted again by having already packed most of what I could have taken pictures of to show her work.

I promise to get pictures of some of the things that I still can and post them here soon.

Mom tried to teach me to paint many times. It is something that I have absolutely no talent for. It always frustrated me that I could not make what I could see in my head appear on the plate. But I loved watching her paint. A few seemingly simple strokes and a rose or a berry or something would magically appear. China painting is not like other mediums. You slowly build up color and shape and fire the item multiple times in between. It starts as a ghost of an image and in subsequent fires becomes more and more real. I just love watching people draw and paint.


Finally I got some shots of the watercolor. I would really like to scan it but I don’t want to take it out of the frame, at least not today. It’s nailed in.

Knowing what it would take for Mom to paint this on china, I can understand why she preferred china painting. On china, she would slowly build up the color over multiple firings and if she didn’t like how it was going, she could just wipe that layer off. With watercolor, you just can’t do that. Still, I wish she’d done more watercolor. This is one of my favorite paintings of any type that she did.


6 thoughts on “w is for watercolor”

  1. I didn’t know about the process of how one painted on china. Interesting, and clearly labor intensive– not to mention you’d have to have a vision in your mind to begin with. The things I learn.


    1. Likewise Ms. Bean. I didn’t have time to comment this morning but I would have sworn that W was going to be for waffles.


  2. My whole family is made up of talented artists. Except for me. Well, that is not entirely true. I spent some time years ago working through the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain book. It showed me that I might actually have some ability – but not the patience. I sometimes think of that and tell myself I should go back to working on it and practicing. Then I do something else.


  3. I can draw but I never do it anymore. I used to draw birds and horses in pencil. Painting intimidated me because it seemed so permanent and I was afraid of making mistakes that I couldn’t erase. Your mother could have painted professionally. She was an artist, for sure.


    1. I am amazed at anyone who can draw, Hannah. I wish I could – but apparently not enough to seriously practice. One of the reasons I think Mom liked painting on china is you can correct mistakes. You should get your pencils out again.


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