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“Secret Creek”- A Plein Air Painting by Tesh Parekh

Secret Creek. 15×22. Watercolor on paper. En Plein Air.

This is my latest watercolor. I painted this plein air at the Durant Nature park. I had been painting outdoors for last few days. My hope was to have at least one new painting which I can submit to Watercolor Society of North Carolina (WSNC). I decided to submit this along with the “Beaufort Sunset”. “Beaufort Sunset” is a gouache painting on a board.

I have made several paintings at the Durant Nature park and hope to make many more. Visiting the same place to paint has been helpful: it has taught me to view the reality in different ways. Of course, the challenge is always to capture on the paper what I visualize. So, the development of skills is very important to me. It is a long process.

This is another painting done on an overcast day. There is a small trail which runs along the creek and it is called “secret creek trail”. On the one side of the creek is this trail and on the other side is the city street! Trees and wild life on one side and houses on the other side. For the most part, you can hear the water running, but, occasionally, you also hear men and machines. I liked the spot where the light was filtering from the top through an opening. I did this painting on Arches 300 lb CP paper. I have been painting on bigger size papers and have been for fortunate to complete my paintings in 2-3 hours. There are theories in the art world about what size paintings sell better. I am learning to ignore those! For now, I want my artistic preference to dictate the size. There is also a theory that unless it is Oil on linen or gallery wrapped canvas, it is not art! I paint in oils, but, for different reasons. I would rather keep learning to make the best art- regardless of the medium!

I was happy with the painting so I have submitted it to WSNC. Of course, WSNC does not require the painting to be plein air work. It can be done in the studio. But, if I can paint outdoors, why not? I would like to keep photography as a separate career.

This week looks busy with chores and weather- I am planning on painting thorugh both!

– Tesh Parekh



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  1. Tesh, I like the earthtone palette. Do you always use this palette for your plein air watercolors? Good luck! I am entering the Watercolor Society of Indiana juried show this year. Maybe!!!???I will be accepted. It is very competitive.

    1. Hello Linda, I am a virtual student of two watercolor masters: Andrew Wyeth and Joseph Zbukvic. Of course, Wyeth has left his teachings thorugh his work. So, I study his work thorugh his little Autobiography book. Zbukvic has published a book (I can’t afford it yet) and 3 DVDs (I own all). It has been easier for me to learn about Zbukvic and use a little brighter palette. I am only beginning to learn Wyeth’s style and use earth palette for some of my work. The hardest part has been seeing the way Wyeth would have seen the world! It was quite challenging for me to use somber colors when everything around me was some shade of green!
      Good luck for the juried show! And happy painting!

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