Watercolor in the Mountains

Published Categorized as Musings, Watercolor 2 Comments on Watercolor in the Mountains

This weekend B and I traveled up to camp in the Adirondack Mountains.

Even though we were there for less than 48hrs, it’s amazing how relaxing a bit of outdoor time and pure , unadulterated sunshine can be.

Last year when we went up for a week in August I had impulsively run to the AC Moore & Michaels a week beforehand and picked up a Koi traveler palette, a bag of cheap-ass brushes and a spiral bound watercolor paper pad. After a day paddling across Cheney Pond to the Boreas River and down to Lester Flow we went back to camp and I gave watercolors my first try from a photo I’d snapped on the trip.

LESTER FLOW ADK • August 2017

I really didn’t know what I was doing and I wasn’t particularly happy with the results. Yet painting was a fun way to pass an evening between games of Yahtzee and watching the stars.

Fast forward and it’s now a year later. I knew I’d be spending a few weekends in a row in my favorite places in September & October so this time I figured I’d give watercolors a bit more than just the ol‘ college try.

I watched/listened to a bunch of Creative Bug watercolor classes, some YouTube and Instagram videos and swapped out a book I’d picked up last year (which wasn’t terrible helpful) with a new book grabbed on Amazon which had more practical, recipe like, lessons.

Painting the first couple lessons from the Joy of Watercolor
Painting one of the beginner lessons from the Joy of Watercolor

Like a good doobie I took what I had gleaned from the online lessons and read through the lessons in the new book (which I now HIGHLY recommend) and gave it a go.  This time I felt like I understood more about the art form. That so much of it is “up to the water and ink” making this a great art form to help me learn to let go of control.

The lessons online before the trip also taught me about different kinds of paper (including watercolor blocks), the benefit of having multiple pads (to let one piece dry between layers while still being able to paint) and using a resist to create different effects.

Armed with all this knowledge and a newly found sense of self confidence I embarked on my magnum opus for the weekend; a piece I call “The view from Camp at night”


This past year has felt like a whirlwind and also a pour of molasses. But seeing change and growth side by side helps keep me motivated that I can still do anything while accepting that I can not do everything.

Supplies on Amazon


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