|Avocado Still Life 7x5 Woodcut & Watercolor|
A long time ago, in cold and frosty New England, I stuck push pins in an avocado pit and suspended the bald tip in a glass of water. Much to my delight, it sprouted, and I had a baby avocado plant growing on my desk, next to potted african violets, a clef note lamp with a sea shell leaning against the base and a photo of my siblings and me propped against a pair of rose-colored-glasses - hooked on the back of the lamp. I also kept a small cassette recorder to send "letters" back and forth to my step dad in California. The little scene of momentos made a nice little abstract composition, perfect fodder for a woodcut.
The first thing John Edwin Noble does when painting a watercolor is to run a wash all over the paper so as to arrive at once at the general tone and colour effect of the subject; and then he goes straight ahead without ever allowing the work to get quite dry, adding blots of pure color here and there as may be necessary, and gradually bringing the whole scheme properly together. He hardly ever paints up to full pitch at once, but reaches it, not in successive washes, but rather by adding more and more color to the first wash while it remains wet. As the picture progresses he allows it to become less wet, and he reserves the final details to the very last; and sometimes these details are afterwards partially wiped off with a brush so as to give a sufficient suggestion of small work without any interference with the general breadth of the painting. With a brush too, the lights are lifted out where necessary. FInally the work is allowed to dry and the edges are cleaned up and any loss of drawing is corrected; but even then it may be put under a tap or in a bath and have more color added to it if the artist does not feel that he has reached the full effect that he desired. ~A.L. Baldry The Practic of water-colour Painting, 1911