Edges are Important
Painting of the Week The Rustling Reeds – a new watercolor by Ellen Jean Diederich
I met my future mother-in-law, Irene, for the first time at the lake. We all went out on the boat and a pair of loons swam by and then ducked back under the water. Irene put her hands up to her mouth and started making a loon call. The whole boat got quiet and the loons called back and she called back a few more times. She really did it quite well. Frankly, I had never seen a loon before. Back inside, I was peacefully reading a book when Irene put on her “loon call record album” and began practicing her call in the living room. Mouth open, I looked over to see Paul cringing behind his newspaper, so I took a gulp of my wine and said nothing.
At Irene’s funeral, Sean Carney remembered how Grandma and Grandpa had introduced them to the lake telling many wonderful stories. When he said, “They liked to take us for boat rides, but when she made that horrible loon call, I wanted to dive into the lake in case anyone saw us with her.” It was difficult not to laugh out loud. Today, I understand why she liked the loons so much. They don’t mess up your property and though I have never seen it, they put their young chicks on their back and take them for a sunset cruise.
In “The Rustling Reeds”, though the loons take center stage in this painting, they are painted very simply. My interest was truly in the landscape. I fell in love with the upper left corner of the painting, and the orangey reeds. I played consciously with the patterns of dark and light in the reeds as they came closer. This made the reed on the right the tallest and the tops became ongoing mass of straggly grass. One night I dreamt that it wasn’t too late to vary the edges at the top of the front reeds. It was worth it, edges are important and powerful!
Pre-issue discounts apply until July 20th
My Painting Landscapes in Acrylic workshop starts this Tuesday. We will be taping and editing the sessions soon to available as an online class.