But my journey with my heron totem on the rivers of the Northwest is far from over. In the last few days I've worked on a new piece, this time putting two herons in the top of a pine tree. I used the same method in painting this as I did in "Blue Moon Heron," however, in this new piece the watercolor paper was covered with a metallic gold gesso, rather than beige gesso, before I applied the opaque watercolors (gouache.)
Here is the beginning of the new piece. Covering a 22 x 22 inch piece of paper with paint, can seem somewhat daunting. But I kept at it, not feeling very confident that I would end up with a decent painting. I kept reminding myself that it is always a learning process. In "Blue Moon Heron" I had totally wiped it clean after my first attempt, yet persevered with the painting until I ended up with something very successful. What this takes is fearlessness and acceptance of the unknown.
I had struggled with dominating the paint in "Blue Moon Heron." I worked on making smooth and consistent areas. The difference this week, was that I started to appreciate what the paint wants to do, which is puddle and run and look quite messy. Instead of fighting it, I went with it. I accentuated the very interesting textured areas, allowing the puddling to create an aged effect that I started liking more and more.
So here is "Taken Under the Wing." I'm interested in all your thoughts and comments.