Part of the excitement of the watercolor medium is when a painting surprises you with something that you didn’t see coming and you quickly have to decide whether to capitalize on it or wrestle it back into submission. (Known as happy accidents to watercolorists.) While painting the foreground and establishing the sky and waves I had something completely unexpected happen. What developed was the feeling of a calm salty evening with waves appearing out of the hazy sunset. Later as I began to hesitate with uncertainty I stopped painting and it sat in the studio for months until one day if was clear what it needed. With a few brush strokes in the foreground the blossoms added to the Fireweed and it was done.
Fireweed grows in various places here on the coast. One of my favorites is in the beach grass where it adds color and variety to the summer dunes.