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mitchellwebster_4-001_thumb1 Ribbed BasketsI know my subscribers to my blog have been wondering why the long abscense in posting to the blog. Well times change, we all change and we have to come to grips with things and change with them.


After 5 very long years of not being able to weave my baskets which I had done for over two decades, you just reach a point where you know that a suitable place cannot be found in which to do the behind the scenes work that no one see’s but myself. People used to see me demonstrate at local farmers markets and shows, that is the easy less messy part of the weaving process, where all the ribs are in the baskets.

Ribbed Baskets

What is not seen, is the very messy sanding of the oak hoops and handles, years ago it was suggested that hand sanding be minimized due to the possibility of Carpel Tunnel surgery on both hands should i continue to hand sand, one hoop set can take hours to hand sand and prep ready for staining & finishing. It was suggested by several wood workers, that i get a drill press, with a drum sander attachment and take the worst off of the hoops and handles, round the square edges, then hand sand to the smoothness of a babies bottom with 600 plus grit sand papers and stain, that fine sanding only takes minutes, compared to hours. Alas, the messy part takes a garage, wood shop etc. in which to create that mess, then clean up and get ready to stain and finish.

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williamsburg-low-basket-with-cane-braid-handle_thumb         100_0106_thumb Asst Basket Styles

I have not been able to find a suitable place in which to do this, after 5 years you tend to give up and move on, this is the point that I have arrived at.

img_2953_thumbI have always loved horticulture, gardening, and working with roses and flowers, well that seems to be out of the picture as well. So I prayed about it, and was shown in a dream, watercolor painting, painting my garden of flowers and botanical, through loose and free painting, as well as botanical watercolor and botanical illustration, all which comes close to the intense focus and design that I felt doing the designing of hand woven baskets. Watercolors are a bit more involved than baskets though. working with the differing techniques of watercolor paint, such as wet into wet, wet into dry, use of transparent colors vs opague, mixing of colors to achieve what you want. when to use granulating paints vs non granulating to achieve multiple textures in your work.

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Photography is a very important element in watercolor painting, collecting pictures of flowers and botanicals, yes and even landscapes, sunrises, sunsets, waterfalls and streams, all which uses diffing techniques to achieve the end results, which in turn gives you knowledge to apply to the different styles of painting.

Close Up WatercolorI am looking forward to new adventures, and letting go what appears to never happen (basket weaving) again. I am not prepared to waste another 5 years, waiting for something which never will happen, if at some point I am lucky enough to come across a place in which to weave the baskets, then after 2+ decades if weavin I can once again take it up. However painting can be done within the confines of a small apartment very easily.

Close up Watercolor 2  Close Up Watercolor 3

So my blog posts will be geared towards the “Adventures in Watercolor” and the journey this takes me on. Life is just too short to wait on something which may or may not ever happen, in the meantime there is painting. I am looking so forward to putting creativity at the forefont of my life again!

The last three photographs, were taken using extension tubes, focusing on various watercolor paintings I have done, what surprised me was the almost 3D effect that you cannot visually notice in the finished painting, This is where photography works for the minute details you can achieve in a painting, almost like miniature paintings within paintings.