The Many Colors of Spring

 Color Your Heart

at The French Broad River Connection

I wanted to paint a colorful palette of Asheville’s Blue Ridge parkway.  And express the many colors of spring. Hiking up the Parkway leads to many surprising trails and vistas. One of them is the overlook of the French Broad River. It was nearing the end of winter and new leaves were starting to grow as if welcoming the beginning of spring.  The evergreens were refreshing to see amidst all the bare trees and bare branches. I brought with me my plein air gear and wide brimmed hat and I started to find a good spot to paint. However, to my disappointment it was mostly a gray palette in front of me.

Then I started walking around to find suitable options for an interesting composition. As a result, I  sketched a few thumbnails that gave me ideas on how to proceed with my brush. Because I explored possible options I got my creative mojo back.  And I thought, this is really going to be fun.

I decided to play with colors as I continued to change my composition.  Then I created two sets of color combinations where I could base my final choice.  Discovering new color contrasts and values as I built my new masterpiece was exhilarating!  I closed my eyes and I saw the colors of spring unfold. I saw shades of blues, teal greens, turquoise, and purples, a touch of alizarin crimson, and many shades of gray. The golden yellow and soft oranges at the far end of the horizon that reflected on the water came to life.  I sat there enjoying the wintery scene but happy to break out of the natural world as I allowed my imagination to capture springtime as I visualized it. And now, the many colors of spring have arrived ready to color your heart!

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For details and info about this watercolor painting, visit:        

” I shut my eyes in order to see “
Paul Gaugin