making of

small and simple

Today it is going to be the perfect pre-spring day with the sun shining all day and temperatures going up a little bit. Nice. The picture for today’s post  fits therefore. Snowdrops in watercolor. Little “medallions”, trial pictures,  a bit smaller than postcard size, painted from a photo of live snowdrops that I took in the garden the other weekend.

My teacher in the watercolor class always recommends doing these little studies first. Explore the motive, approach it and learn while doing so. The little format prevents going into details and helps to stay on the surface where you are supposed to focus on a couple of things. The dynamics of lines and shapes in the picture. The arrangement, the colors, the abstraction. And, yes, it helps.

Everytime I do these, however, I learn that I need new glasses for that.

So, yes,… you guessed right: In perfumery, it is very comparable, I learned, and one of the take home messages of my painting for my perfumery work is trying to keep things simpler, at least initially, when exploring new territory. A while ago, I had a friend visiting and we were exploring the hyacinth trials and the hyacinth base (among other things). And suddenly, we both sort of realized: Actually, as interesting the complex elaborated latest hyacinth trial versions were, with a complete bouquet of various things intended to reach out beyond the hyacinth, the base was better. The base, the was close to a finished perfume. We realized that this base might (you never know …) only need a few dashes of this and that. So we realized that and I did a version of the hyacinth, with the base  nicely decorated with some musk, vanilla, cedarwood and sandalwood notes, a dash of bergamot, and not more. It was sitting there for 10 days and can and will go into dilution now, as trial and then we will see. It might be a bit “hyper hyacinth” like but then: Why not.

Coming back to the watercolors. Yes, quite often, I feel that the medallions, the little simple pictures are better than the large scale versions. Funny, isn’t it?