19 August 2007


Watercolour. I love this word!
There is a relatively new beach community located on Northwest Florida's Gulf Coast named Watercolor. Acclaimed architect, Jaquelin Robertson was creator of the Master Plan which includes the brilliant marketing slogan…"What color is imagination? I thought about writing a piece focusing on the architectural and design significance of Watercolor; but that would fall within the nicely padded boundaries of my creative comfort zone.

This week, due in no small measure, to the overwhelmingly positive and supportive feedback that everyone shares on this site; I decided to step WAY OUTSIDE my CZ. It was a spontaneous decision, born while I was wading through our (I have the good fortune of working with talented photographer John Ballouz) photographic scouting shots of an extraordinary historic restoration of an estate in Key West. The owners ‘got it right’ and deserve an international standing ovation. But, as usual, I digress.

One of the photos was a close-up shot of a beautiful peacock. I know this sounds absolutely Victorian-esque and ‘too-too’…but it’s not. The above photo is one of a pair that sits perched in the living room; on the edge of an incredible antique, hand-carved stone fireplace mantel found in Belgium among the ruins of an abandoned castle. The peacocks are humourous counterpoints to a room of drop-dead elegance and glamour; that irreverent spice that lets you know the owners-in-residence possess a wonderful sense of relaxed fun.

So…I’m looking at the photo and thinking, “Peacock blue ink....my very first intro to the power of water colour. Remember Mrs. Costello teaching our 6th grade class calligraphy using a real fountain pen! I should do something with the peacock photo for IMT this week…but what?” Absently, I played around with my edit buttons on 'Microsoft Picture It' and came across a tool called ‘freehand painting’. Curious, I checked it out and started playing. I didn’t even know the computer offered this capability!

I love the colours of the sky and the sea, particularly in the tropics. They are mirror images. One reflects the other, giving each a distinctive artistic quality, depending on the weather and hour. I decided to transform the background behind the peacock from drab grey 'nothingness' to the colours of a Key West sunset. I began.

This little adventure started at about 3:45 yesterday afternoon. It felt like only a few minutes, maybe a half hour, had gone by. In reality, almost two hours had passed! I haven’t been lost in so much creative fun (and frustration because of not knowing what the %#@! I was doing) on a computer (other than words/writing) in a long, long time.
Thanks IMT!