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Every once in awhile I try something I see others doing. Thanks to Carol King’s workshop on Citra Solv collage papers made from National Geographics, I had some interesting papers to add to this project. Thank-you Carol! 

I have watched Isabelle post her muse collage work for a year, now, but not taken the time to try one myself. Last week I began visiting Ghadah at Pretty Green Bullet and was inspired by her loose ink drawings of figures and applications of collage.  I thought I could try a little of both artist’s approaches.  Thank-you Isabelle and Ghadah!

As a theme, I chose to respond to a post that I thought very informative that Eva posted not long ago about the water cycle. Thank-you, Eva!

I used waterproof black ink, Citra Solv collage images, newspaper text, watercolor and gesso to create this. Beyond that, I will let the piece speak for itself.


  1. How wonderful that you took a little bit from all of us and made something entirely your own. I love the little girl, the words and of course the citra solv paper.

    You’ve created a magical collage. You never stop coming up with new ideas!

  2. hurray! after doing tens of these it’s so refreshing to see somebody else’s! your ‘for water’ feels so nostalgic to me, i can’t put my finger on it. it’s so ethereal. love the idea, inspiration and collaboration behind it, but also love it for what it is.

    is it possible for you to send me this as a pdf so that i can post it on my blog? i have a section on ‘my friends’ and would LOVE to share it. my email is

    by the way what are the dimensions?

    • I was going to share why I chose the elements I did for this piece, but decided against it so everyone could get their own “take” on it. Of course I can send you the image but don’t know how to do a pdf so sent a jpeg. Hope that will do. The dimensions are 16 inches by 13 inches. Thank-you for the comment about ethereal. I like that. Thank-you, also, for sharing your recent work that I found so inspirational. I like your figure work. You have found a unique way to represent what you want to say.

  3. Love the orange and the light and dark blues. The collage of words and images and watercolour painting – they all really work together. This is the first time I’ve seen this technique used (of what little art I’ve seen). It’s lovely!

    • Thank-you for saying you liked that orange, Earthianne. I wondered if I’d gone a little overboard on that but wanted something that allowed that soaring gull to show up in the upper right corner. Thank-you!

  4. Very different cup of tea from you and you sure are a winner with this one, so very lovely Leslie!

    • I know 🙂 ….but I saw the figures on Ghadah’s site and had been visiting Isabelle for so long and not taken the plunge. This process just adds to the fun
      ! Thank-you, Padmaja!

  5. Wonderful job, Leslie. It looks like you been doing this sort of thing for years. I’m sure everyone who inspired you is very proud of you.

    • Thank-you, Debbie. I have done about four collage and watercolor pieces. I like doing them but rarely take the time. I recently purchased a small piece at a local show that was a painted landscape and then the artist cut out her farm buildings from paper. I would like to try some of that, also.

  6. Yuhooo! Leslie ! Way to go !! I love it ! It is not only beautiful, but very rich emotionally. It triggers lots of meanings, questions, wonders… Very dynamic !

    • Thank-you tons, Isabelle. I have watched you and watched you and WATCHED you! Thank-you for sharing what you do that keeps me seeing and listening. Your comment means a lot.

  7. Great and original idea! I admire the fact that you collected all these bits and pieces of techniques and methods and combined them into something that hasn’t been done before. I also like the loose and illustrative style.
    I have been playing with an idea of incorporating words, a narrative actually, into my portrait series, and your piece here gives me new things to think about.

    • I don’t know how creative I am as I was channeling all that Ghadah, Isabelle and Carol have done, but I surely was inspired to give it a go. I think either collage text, drawn or written text would be great with your drawings! Thank-you, Alex! I’m coming over to see who you are introducing me to next!

  8. Painting + words + magazine images = WOW! Very neat ideas and awesome execution.

    • Thank-you, Amber! Have you caught the Citra Solv bug, yet? It makes incredible collage papers out of National Geographic Magazine pictures. Check out this self portrait of Isabelle’s: Those colored papers used to be National Geographic. When you get time….. Carol King got us started on it by posting about a workshop she took.

        • aswirly
        • Posted November 7, 2010 at 4:16 pm
        • Permalink

        Boy, you blow my mind with so many ideas. Gonna go check out these links!

  9. An interesting piece Leslie? How do you feel about how adding words affects an image?

    • Thank-you, Al. Your question is so fun because this really challenges me. I would like to find more ways of fading words in and out and designing the whole composition better. Words don’t bother me in art, like this, because I see them as a form of communication just as the imagery is. Eva has been talking about the oil spill and the fact that we aren’t hearing much about its effects any longer. There have been discussions about our water resources even before that spill. I tried to find words that were positive to cause people to stop and think about their future where this vast resource is being affected by things we do. The words helped, I think……

  10. Well, am trying AGAIN to post online with whacky net connection–apparently my wireless laptop wants to ‘visit’ with all possible network servers in the locality. Yeah.
    Leslie, my first impression was of a Girl God Child creating ‘madly’ with wild abandon! Great energy and expression in this wonderful piece of ART! Your creative adventurism is so delightful and engaging. Thank YOU for “For Water” !!!

    • Yep. You pretty much got it. Finding that childlike spirit in ourselves that knew the importance and value of the life and resources around us. The future adult yearning for a better world to be left with than where we seem to be headed. She is the native force in all of us that should be driving us forward and beating that drum so we might “hear”…. That is what I was trying to say. Thank-you, Eva!!

  11. I can’t imagine much work is needed to prepare and finish this piece but this little girl art work looks amazing and lively, it’s as though she is talking to us via those words around her. Thanks for sharing Leslie.

    • This did not take long. I did the drawing on one evening and inked it, collected the text and images I wanted to use (searching for those take some time to find the right ones for what I wanted to do). I think you are right. It is as though she may be communicating those very words… Thank-you, Francis! 🙂

  12. i love collage specially them who mix in words so you can make your own poems

  13. Hi Leslie,

    I love this new piece! Just beautiful! Thanks for letting the Citra Solved papers be part of it!


    • Thank-you for visiting again, Melissa! I am rather addicted to the images Citra Solv creates….. Thank-you for the comment!

  14. This is an enchanting image, Leslie. I love it!

  15. it’s way fun for me to see an artist explore outside of their usual areas. …even if you do these every so often…

    i’m very curious about your choice of yellow orange color in this. was that a conscious awareness regarding how the work may evolve with the yellowing of the news paper? i think it will age well. cool.

    • Thank-you for the plus on exploring outside my usual mode of creating. I really enjoy mixing other media with watercolor. It is very freeing and reminds me there is more to this activity of art than just what I do “most of the time”.
      Yes. There was a reason for the yellow/orange. Two of them, actually. I have read a lot about the chakra colors. Yellow stands for self and concerns of self or that is how I interpret the books to mean. Orange is the self moving into relationship with the outside world. I combined the two, here to suggest that the person drumming is drumming for herself and all others to communicate the need to protect our natural resource, water. I liked the blue surrounding the birds as blue signifies truth and during the oil spill the birds covered in oil told a truth. The green shirt signifies the love we have for our natural resources and is the impetous that causes some of us to act on our love for them and beat the drum to communicate. Red is primal and of family. The drive to beat that drum comes from the family of man……..Hope this isn’t too wordy an explanation..thank-you, Wrick! 🙂

      • aloha Leslie – too wordy an explanation? bwahahahaha… given the lengths i can ramble on to. . . ??? bwahahaha. i have to work toward your ability to be succinct. …i’m working on it. bwahahahaha on that, Wrick.

        i like your color thinking in this. cool. some of the connections i know, some are new to me, but i like the process you moved through in your choices.

        the idea that my work may shift in color over time occasionally comes up when i know i use materials that will shift with light or in other ways too – etc. i do occasionally use those materials for one reason or another for reasons that i consider valid… so i find myself thinking along that evolution line and trying to anticipate what will take place along side the materials that are not likely to change significantly. it’s an interesting concept. one i know some people have pushed to extremes intentionally and it’s fun. thanks for sharing your thinking Leslie.

  16. Looks like she’s casting a spell. Reminds me of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. I like this!

    • Why thank-you, Yousei! I think she is perhaps a Sorcerer’s apprentice. I like that very much. You must be referring to a poem or a book you have read and I must look that up. Thank-you for the visit and comment!

  17. I like this water color painting……

    • Thank-you, Noel! I am slowly learning the ins and outs of collaging and painting.

  18. This is really wonderful, Leslie! I love the old fashioned, antique feel of it. You are so adventurous!! FUN!! 😀

    • Thank-you, Beth! I think the antique feel came in when I chose to take gesso, thinned with water, to streak in and around and through elements of this composition. Everything appeared a little too stark and disjointed without that connection, one segment to the other. I hope to improve on this interesting form of communication through art….Wonder where it will take me.

  19. You are really creative Leslie, I love color painting 🙂

    • Thank-you, Marinela. I am hoping to get better at my word finding for these, though! 🙂

  20. I love the layering effect of the collage and how it seems to mesh so well with watercolors. The word choices influence my viewing of the painting, which makes it fun to think about—would very much enjoy seeing more of this type of artwork. I was amazed to learn this project did not take long for you to complete.

    • Thank-you, Adam. I think it took longer to find the images and words I was going to use for this than actually drawing, arranging and painting it. Collage allows for thought, along with the expression in medias used, I think. I hope to spend some time with collage and watercolor over winter break.

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Comments For Water « Le… on a mild case of the casual…ghadah on the last four. i’m going…lesliepaints on […]

  2. […] Leslie has ‘responded’ with a wonderful piece of art titled “For Water”. Please take a gander at it […]

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