The night I discovered Payne’s Grey – Watercolour in a small Watercolour Moleskine

This is a small painting of one of the local farms as seen during a bike run a day or so ago. It looks nice and tranquil here but, like many farms, is actually a bit of a midden, especially the surrounds. I will not name the place to avoid litigation but have used artistic license to tidy it up a bit.

There has been a bit of discussion, in a recent forum thread, about portable watercolour boxes and working “plein air”, so much so that I decided to resurrect my old set and do this with the paints inside during my bike run. It looked so much different, when I finished, compared to some of my recent stuff then I realised that the “darks” were done with Payne’s Grey – a colour in the box which I tend to avoid now. In fact, I got so fed up with Payne’s Grey destroying my early artistic attempts I wrote this (apologies to Frederick Loewe/Alan J Lerner – “The night they invented champagne)

The Night I discovered Payne’s Grey
My Indigo was “oot”, Vermilion Kaput.
The night I discovered Payne’s Grey
Well, what was I to do, needing a darker hue.
When suddenly a tube of the stuff
Landed beside me with a thud.
Now everything I paint
Becomes an awful pain
Each masterpiece transformed into a sea of blue, grey m…u…d.