Person Number One: My husband and I were checking out a lighthouse in San Pedro, California while we were delivering our car to Long Beach and going to see the National Watercolor Show. “Not one bit. It hasn’t changed one bit.” We looked behind us and there was a man following us, walking on the grass and talking to us. He came up and started telling us that he had been there 40 or 50 years ago. He had a Navy Veteran hat on.
Be careful who you talk to in parks because this guy ended up in my painting. The sun was gleaming off his white beard and I asked him if I could take a picture of him and paint him in watercolor. His wife and daughter came up and also started chatting with us. So we took their phone number and I sent them a copy after the painting was done.
Step 1: Watercolor by Sherry Meidell
This Painting was a combination of of two of the pictures I took. I like to combine people with places. I loved this old light house but it became the perfect backdrop for this gentleman’s portrait. I did thumbnails of what I wanted the finished painting to look like and then sketched directly on the watercolor paper. I wanted to tie the painting together with a wash that would start with the sky and move right into his beard. I put thin strips of masking tape to save some of the white hairs of his beard. I had to be very careful when I took them off so as not to pull up the surface of the paper.
Step 2: Adding orange on the roof and skin tones
Even though the shadow side of the building was white, it had to be darker than the dark blue hat in the sun. The orange of the roof tied into the burnt sienna in the shadow part of the face.
Step 3: Adding some warmth to the beard
The sun was so intense on the beard so I wanted to add some warmth by adding some yellow. I wish I would have left the letters on his hat white and just glazed over them with a light yellow. I lost some of the intensity.
Finished Watercolor “Not One Bit” on 300 lb. Canson Watercolor paper.
So paintings are done one step at a time. I took a watercolor workshop from Charles Reid and he said if you don’t know what to paint next on your painting, don’t paint. Wait until you know where you’re going with it. I will look at my painting long enough and then it will pop into my head what I’m supposed to paint next. And there is always something else I have to fix after I think I’m done.
Person Number Two: I walked into a building on campus to see if I could find one of the secretaries I had been emailing here at BYU-Hawaii. I went up to the girl that was sitting in the lobby and asked if she could direct me to where the secretary was. The girl asked if I was an artist and I said yes. She then asked if I was a watercolor artist. I wasn’t sure how she knew to ask me that since we were pretty new to the campus and Hawaii. Then she asked if I had been to Nauvoo. I had met this young woman when she was a missionary in Nauvoo. Me and Becky Hartvigsen had been back there for a show at the Havenlight Gallery in downtown Nauvoo. The sister missionary had watched me sketch while we were waiting to go on a tour of the John Taylor Historic home. What were the odds that we would meet up here so far from Nauvoo. It let me know that the Lord was aware of me here in this beautiful place. And maybe as an artist I could somehow influence people for good.
Person Number Three: We were taken for a tour around campus by a lovely, kind lady. She told us how to say the Hawaiian vowels. She stopped along the tour to pick flowers for me and tell me the names. She welcomed us with great kindness. I wrote her an email to thank her for the amazing tour. She lifted me up again by her kind email. “Yes, Hawaii has its unique beauty like all the many other creations of the Lord across the earth. You and your husband add to that beauty with your goodness and willingness to serve here. You also have the wonderful talent to capture the beauty as seen from your eyes and share it with others. Mahalo and Aloha Friday.” On the tour we had checked the Family Tree website and I never would have guessed. She is my Polynesian cousin.
‘The scripture for this week is Matthew 7:12 “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”
#artistonamission #artist #watercolor #San Pedro