These days, everything seems to be wireless. I was just talking to Mom earlier this evening and my brother set her up with a wireless connection to her iPhone that allows her to hear everything clearly. It was a pleasure talking to her; she could hear everything I said.

As an observant fellow, I notice that not everything is wireless in today’s world.

Digital Photo - Wires in Burbank

Today’s experiment:

I made a pencil sketch for the watercolor below, at my wife’s cousin’s house, where we stayed for about a week. At that time we were estranged from the other family members with whom we had lived with for the past six years. At the time, I just liked the composition: technology juxtaposed with nature. As I think about it more however, this watercolor is a metaphor for personal connection and its occasional disappearance. Granted, communication without wires has certainly increased the back-and-forth interaction among people and connections are still maintained through this invisible medium. But, having reconciled with our estranged relatives and just having returned from a face-to-face visit with our children and grandchildren, I have to say that physical connections, are good things.  I wish we had more time and opportunity for that.

Watercolor Sketch - Telephone Pole with Orange Condenser

12″x9″ 140# Rough Watercolor Block


I began this painting by applying Shadow Green (Holbein) to a wet field on the lower left. I added other greens such as chrome green, my trusty Hooker’s green, some phthalo green and Permanent Green #2 (Holbein), a yellow green color. My intention was to make a cloudy, billowy representation of the trees into which the wires disappear. I used an unlabeled blue from my palette (probably Peacock blue) for the sky at first, then glazed it with Prussian blue. Prussian blue can be very vivid or, when diluted, can serve as a good glaze. In this case, I probably didn’t dilute it as much as I should have.

I tried to leave as much of the telephone pole as unpainted as possible by being careful in applying the blue for the sky. I used yellow ochre, burnt umber and warm sepia for the colors of the pole. for the orange capacitor, I used Cadmium Orange Pure (Utrecht), shading it with warm sepia on the outer edges.  Instead of using pen and ink (which I did use to outline my sketch), I painted the wires with ivory black.

5 thoughts on “Wireless?

  1. I love this. As image and metaphor. The colours are wonderful – love the green, blue, orange. The exactness of the wires against the billowy trees is great. Glad to hear of the reconciliation.

      • Yes but I failed miserably. I finally located English fire hydrants so thought I’d send a couple of pictures. Actually you only need to see one as ours are identical – unless you get hooked on the number id system. Dylan thought my new behaviour quite strange but then became interested so we photographed another when we ended yesterday in a neighbouring county (though hydrants are the same, as I say, except for the id). Ours are nothing like as exotic as yours; unassuming bordering on boring I might have said – except that now I find them fascinating thanks to you 🙂 I showed my photos to a psychogeography friend who loves them too – right up his street. I don’t know why my pix won’t send on twitter. I thought it was because I’d taken them on my mobile phone but I don’t think it can be that. I am generally hopeless with technology so it will doubtless be something simple. I’ll try again perhaps!

  2. This watercolor struck me – it’s beautiful. I like how you play with depth of field with the background in sharp focus and the blurry/cloudy trees in the foreground. The colors make me think of the sun coming out after a thunderstorm. Sunlight appears particularly golden in those moments. Thanks for sharing this.

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