During a summer cruise vacation, we stopped at Taormina, Sicily. It is by far one of the most beautiful locations in the whole world, looking over at the great Mt. Etna. Sightseeing, people watching, and great food are my favorites there. We take the elevators up to Taormina and walk the whole distance down to the amphitheater. We usually stop for a patio lunch before doing too much walking. In between times, there are so many beautiful shops to see and gaze at in wonder. This particular time, I saw a group of lace parasols arranged on the sidewalk in the warm afternoon sun. The stark white lace against the black tones of shadows made me stop and look. I did not move a thing, but I should have asked to do just that. I took a few photos, and moved on.

Not until I was looking back over my photo collection for ideas for a new watercolor, did I settle on that very photo. Once I started looking at the details, I should have removed the draped scarf, and moved around the parasols so that the ribbed tips were in different positions. I started a difficult painting I did not know how to paint. I did crop it severely to eliminate some of the problems. This was pretty scary for me, so I started in the upper left corner to work things out. I had a plan to lay in the upper shadows first, then move across from left  to right working each parasol separately.  The paper I selected was a 140 lb.hot pressed Arches. It is not the most forgiving paper, but is great for detail. I worked slowly and thoughtfully. I could not work very long at one time. I had tremendous eye fatigue, so that I couldn’t focus very well.

I reached a point where I just wanted to finish it, and move on.  The original photo showed the lower middle parasol was light yellow. After all my blue toning, it turned an awful shade of green with garish re-orange lining! Yuck! I knew I had only one choice, repaint the whole umbrella.

It took me eight hours to repaint the parasol. What a mistake, but at least I could correct it. I am pleased with the results. It still remains to be seen if I will do another lace painting.

“Lacy Summer Sunshine” has been accepted into “The Kansas Watercolor Society National Exhibition 2018”, a Mark Arts Exhibition, held at the Mary R. Koch Arts Center, Wichita, Kansas, October 19, 2018 to January 5, 2019.

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