This morning, I decided to get an early start. I began sketching this hillside photo of Istanbul at around 9:30 am. I began with the mosque and minarets. With watercolors, it’s imperative to get the shapes right from the beginning. With acrylic painting, I can just paint over a layer to change a shape’s location entirely. Well, it’s not THAT easy. I feel I should clarify this point, because during the many years Jennan and I painted murals together, we’d often get clients who would come in after several hours of work and say “Hmm, I like it so far, but could you scoot the elephant over a few inches to the left?” At which point, my nostrils would flare, Jennan would shoot me that plaintive “say something congenial before I kill our client” look, and I’d try to explain that this was actual paint being applied by hand, and that it didn’t magically become a vinyl sticker once dry.
So with watercolors, the white areas have to stay white from the beginning. It requires forethought and planning and patience- none of which are strong areas for me. So I looked at the mostly blank page after a half hour, slightly exasperated, and put it down for awhile.
I put several more hours into it in the afternoon. I wanted to just ignore the photo and start making up colorful boxes, but each little square of building is connected to the others. After a while, it started to feel like level 9 Tetris, that point at which I can’t put the lines into neat stacks as easily, and I have a little anxiety attack in my throat and my eyes get all dry as I try not to blink so I don’t screw anything up. I kept telling myself to pick up the pace in my brain, yet somehow it was still like I was painting through a layer of molasses.
Eventually it got to the point where I could just add windows and pen lines and take the pictures. I called Rob, who told me he had spoken with the EDD. We were worried that he wouldn’t be eligible for it because he’d run out shortly before he started his last job. The friendly representative told him that he’d earned just enough income at his recent positionto be eligible again. I took a deep, long breath of relief. Knowing that we’ll both be able to receive unemployment for at least awhile is definitely going to help me sleep tonight. Also, I think this watercolor turned out kind of awesome, so there’s that too. Yay!