Thursday, September 12, 2013

Transforming a Piece of Paper--River Tapestry #2, Step by Step

Every artist has them--paintings that just don't work. But the challenge and joy can be in transforming a painting like this into something creative and vastly more interesting.

Although I really liked the idea of the water painting (so much so that I did two of them), the results were not to my liking. I didn't toss these two paintings, but put them in a drawer. Occasionally I would pull them out and take a look, eventually seeing beautiful parts that led me to transform them into my new series, River Tapestry.

The first step was locating and isolating the parts of the water that I thought were beautiful. I then glued rice paper on to the painting leaving windows of the river painting. I painted the rice paper with acrylic paint.

Step two was choosing some more rice paper, this time pieces that I had painted previously, to collage on the new surface. This determined the accent color as well as the division of the rectangular shape of the paper

After adding both mauve and blue rice paper pieces, I used one of my stamps to put patterns on the piece. This is the beginning of the "tapestry."

Once the painting was at this point, the challenge was to incorporate all the elements into a flowing piece. I wanted to enhance the water flow across the painting, and create color harmony. I adjusted colors, neutralizing the blue with a grayer color. I added more orange in the water as a lovely contrast to the blues. I began to "weave" all the parts together. All of this part is just an intuitive process. I would do something to the piece, prop it up and step back. This way I would see a problem and solve it. Then another problem would draw my eye and I would resolve that. 

The final work was applying small lines using ink, colored pencils, acrylic paints applied with a small brush. My final step was adding the ghost-like figures of a heron and three fish, a very personal touch!

River Tapestry #2
Aquamedia 15 x 21


Ruth Armitage said...

What a transformation! I loved seeing your process unfold here. You ended up with a beautiful painting :)

Anonymous said...

I love it!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I love this! How do you like that for a gush? I really do think it is good. The water so dominates your eye, the ghost heron and fish don't register for a bit, and then they seem so right to be there. The water flow lines all read right to me, so I don't get distracted look at that. I like the stamping below the water surface, almost middle, which seems to evoke turbulence and petroglyphs at the same time. A person could even see a water monster, like the petroglyphs in the Dalles Dam, in there. Mike