A few years ago on a day when I just didn't have the inclination to paint, I collaged strips of newspaper on a 300 lb. Arches watercolor paper. I then used gesso (a white paint mixture consisting of a binder mixed with chalk, gypsum, pigment, or any combination of these) to cause the words to fade leaving an interesting and rather unique surface to paint on. It does not take kindly to transparent watercolor, but both gouache and acrylic paints work well on top of the surface.
Having the news implied by this surface, I have used it to talk about more historical or newsworthy subjects. For this one, I had in mind the 100 Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. Two years ago, I painted a similar one with the Suffragists in the background and a woman and child in bright colors in the front.
|Because Women Marched|
But my idea for this one was to have a row of women of all ages and colors in front.
It is quite a bit of work to paint these ghostly figures from the past.
And then came the modern women as a front line. It came to mind that this is somewhat like Portland's Wall of Mothers. But creating it reminded me so much of my childhood making original outfits for my paper-dolls.
As my frontline became complete, I realized that they needed to be grounded somehow. I had an inspiration to create shadows, not with paint, but with newsprint collage without the white gesso. (I often get these ideas that are super cool, but add complications to finishing a painting.)