The above painting is the next step in following the book titled Watercolor and Collage Workshop by Gerald Brommer. I was to draw something realistic and design all of the format surrounding that realistic image with what I had learned in the previous exercise by using the rice papers and watercolor techniques. I want to try several of these after experimenting with this one. It was wonderfully freeing to play with the papers and decide which ones I wanted to incorporate to tell a story. My thoughts about the title for this piece went from “This Old House” to “Living on the Edge” to, finally, “..there will be roses”. I guess that would be the best way to describe what happens to me, the artist, as I let go and allow the papers and the color to inform me of what they want to become. I thought about my attraction to old homes, what goes into keeping them up, what many have faced during trying financial times, to thinking positive in the face of of such times.
For those of you following and wishing to try this on their own, at home, I have included the step by step process below.
I drew the realistic object I wanted to include.
In the next step, I, first, painted several large washes of color surrounding the realistic object. I decided to run some of the color down and into the roof. Notice that these washes bridged the sides of the paper. I allowed those washes to dry. This step can be shortened by using a hair dryer to dry the initial washes. I then mixed my matte medium for glue. I use acrylic matte medium with just a little water to make the mixture creamy. I then selected and tore different pieces of rice paper to begin glueing to the surface and designing the space surrounding the home. I did not use the landscape in the photo that I used to draw the house. I allowed myself the pleasure of being creative and designing my own format. I wanted the home to look as though it was sitting on top of a hill in golden light. I tore the papers and placed them on the hill so as to direct the viewers eye up the hill and toward the house. I chose a very light and different textured paper to represent the tree to the left of the home and tried to create a shape that pointed toward the front porch. I chose a darker rice paper to shape the tree to the left and behind the home and created a shape that also pointed toward the porch and dropped across the roof. I then included some low plant life around the front of the home and darker bushy like shapes to the right of the home. I wanted to create an atmosphere that appeared as though nature was hugging the home. I allowed this step to dry overnight.
I painted these paper shapes and concentrated on the image that began appearing around my central object, the home. It was at this point that I decided I did not like all the blank sky and thought I may be able to enhance the hugging of the home more if I included more plant life. I decided to tear more rice papers in the shapes of large arborvitae to extend in a line behind the home. Mr.Brommer suggested that there can be furthur laying in of papers after our second wash of pigment. I like this concept of building a composition. I then had to allow this phase of the painting to dry overnight again.
I, next, painted the arborvitae and was pleased that the home looked hugged by shapes of nature.
My final step was to paint the home and define the darks in and through the natural shapes to lead the viewer’s eye to the front porch. It was at this point that I was overwhelmed by a feeling of compassion for all who are and have faced incredible circumstances due to the loss of their homes through financial difficulties or natural disasters or those who are facing health issues and job changes. I added the roses and changed the title from “Living on the Edge” to “…there will be roses”. It is my sincere wish and prayer that beyond the loss and tragedy that you have suffered that there is a steady and positive force that enters your lives and you are lifted up and that, yes, …there will be roses in your lives again.