I belong to a friendly plein air painting group that meets on Wednesday mornings to paint local scenes. This week we took a road trip to Palo Alto to visit the beautiful Allied Arts gardens. It's a remarkable place tucked back in a residential section on the west side of El Camino Real. The public is welcome and they have a first rate cafe for ladies' lunch.
I spent most of the morning on a complicated scene. I'm afraid I fell into a poor habit of overworking the piece. Watercolor is best when used simply and carefully, not placed ploddingly or heavily. While I know this as an artist something in me forgets and I paint and paint and fix and add when I know better. We need to do a lot of "less than perfect" paintings to allow for those tiny miracles to happen on the paper.
At the end of the morning I set aside my disappointment in the earlier piece and vowed to do a five minute painting. I just stared closely at these extraordinary lavender/blue irises. The result which I post here proves my point that "less is often more."