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I have become fascinated with the role that oriental papers can play in enhancing a watercolor.  Many of you who have followed me know I have been working with painting on masa paper as well as working with rice paper and watercolor.

I began by painting a cruciform design in watercolor, then by using acrylic matte medium with a little water (four parts medium to one part water), glue torn pieces of rice paper into that design.  I enjoy the abstract qualities this brings to a painting and the interesting things, shapes and colors, created by the textures of the paper. I NEVER know when to stop with these. After applying the papers, I paint, again and add more papers  until I have an image I like.

This one made me think of the world, at large, and what a thaw might look like. With that, it took me other places, thinking about what it might take to to mend or thaw some of our differences and connect us once again. I am glad the chakra colors come through loud and clear of orange, blue, green and violet.  I stopped, here, not wanting to disturb that thought.


  1. I ADORE where your abstracts are taking you, Leslie. You are one remarkable artist. It is such a pleasure to get an email notifying me of a new post and a new creation for me to revel in. Simple things that make my day brighter!

    • Hi Kate! These are fun. I don’t have to stare at a reference to be inspired. I have wanted to better understand the abstract. Thank you for a comment like this. It makes me want to do more of them!

  2. Ohhh…this I love, Leslie. Perfect title. Seeing the earth peek through the snow with “noxema bottle blue” bringing comfort to eye, heart and soul.

    • Ha! “Noxema bottle blue”. It is, though. I think that color of blue happened when the violet ran into the manganese blue, Amy. You are too funny. Guess I could have said indigo, too, because today I see that color. Wonders never cease. Thank you for this comment that caused me to chuckle. 🙂

  3. You create some wonderful abstracts, Leslie, and this one is no exception. Beautiful!

    • Thank you Debbie. I have always wanted to venture into the abstract. This is slow in coming and baby steps are needed as I explore and learn to create this way. Your comment will help to drive me forward.

  4. I love to look at this one. From a distance I also see a tree full of sunlight. A beautiful and inspiring landscape.

    • Oh! I see the tree, too! Upper right hand corner, the trunk is the orange that bleeds into the shaded side of the fluff of leaves? Thank you for pointing that out hannekekoop. I keep learning with these and seeing how the great abstract artists became inspired. Everyday something new! Thankyou Hannekekoop! 🙂

  5. The pronounced colors of the Ajna chakra dominating this work implies that the process is therapeutic and the painting reminds me of the book Peace with the broken pieces..!

    • Oh thank you, Padmaja! Yes, that is what happens when I create these. Is the book you are referring to titled “Peace Is Every Step”? I searched, yesterday, after reading your comment. Thank you for seeing some of what I saw, Padmaja!

  6. Beautiful Leslie. The wonderful thing about abstract is that it allows our imagination to run wild. This scene reminds me of the early morning, Cascade mountains surrounded by fog, autumn leaves and forest.

    • That sounds like a wonderful place to be, Emily. I think it is a wonder to receive comments like yours from other places viewers call home and understand that our creations say so much more for the sharing. Thank you for this!

  7. I can see a golden leafed tree, Leslie, and a melting landscape, with various waterfalls cascading down. creating plumes of water vapour. .. The more you look, the more you see… it’s Th-awesome. Please Pardon the Pun… 😉 xPenx

    • You are great, Pen! Do you realize how much I wish I could come up with words like that? Thank you. I like what you see in this. I could not see the tree until you and others mentioned it and it has made me very pleased to then see it for myself. Thank you! 🙂

  8. I see the world’s nature in this one. Lands, trees, sky, polar ice caps, oceans–all merging–thawing together. I love where your thoughts took you on this creation, Leslie. And then I had a thought: I wonder if when we reach our enlightenment, all our chakra colors will be blended into one perfect color…

    • I think you and I went to the same place with this one, Gayle. I like your description so much better. Thank you for that.
      I also like your thought about the colors merging into one perfect color. I never thought of that but think you just might have some truth there. I like that thought!

  9. This is lovely and the colors are beautiful. It says “landscape” to me but in a wonderfully abstract way.

    • Hi Kathleen,
      Thank you for your input. I am just beginning to learn more about abstract and there is so much to learn and how different artist express themselves abstractly. We will see if I can really develop a bit of a voice and expression with some of the things I am trying. Yes. This says “landscape” to me, also.

  10. Leslie, I sent you an email about his painting, but I always worry that somehow I did that wrong. So let me say here how lovely this watercolor is. The textures are amazing, and it’s so interesting to study how those textures influence the crystalline colors. Peaceful – meditative – beautiful. You are always willing to try unique techniques. This is so helpful in building confidence, and challenges me to not only try new things but to look at paintings with “deeper” eyes. 🙂 Thanks!

    • Thank you, Nanina for emailing me about this painting. It is always wonderful to paint something that connects with a viewer and learn about what they see and what it might propmpt.
      What I have found about technique is they are the tools I keep adding to that helps my ability to express myself furthur. Without them, I would be somewhat handicapped. I am forever a student of art and the materials used to create it. I find challenges and insights on your blog, also.

  11. I can respond to the act of tearing and rearranging the paper upon its support which extends what’s happening through color. What a nice surprise Leslie!

    • Thank you, Al! I am trying to stretch my creative muscles little by little.

  12. Oh my word, Leslie, I LOVE this piece! The textures, the colors, the layers; it’s gorgeous!

    • Thank you, Bree. I need to learn to express myself through the abstract. Your comment helps me to know that I might be getting there, babystep by babystep. Yours arealways so free and colorful!

  13. I’m seeing the waterfall that someone else mentioned. It’s some kind of river of dreams, with an ancient spreading tree perched right at the edge. It’s so neat how the texture of the paper extends the branches and also made little eddies in the water. I think a storm may be coming in. Or maybe it’s just clearing up. 🙂

    • I love your interpretation, Cindy! Thank you! A “river of dreams”, now, why didn’t I think of that? The idea of the storm?I can see that, too. Thank you! 🙂

  14. Very powerful, It speaks on many levels to many as I can see by others comments. This is a poetic piece I love it.

    • Thank you so much, Louise, for saying this is poetic. To think something I painted and collaged would bring a poetic feel with it is high praise. I admire those who write it.

  15. This is a lovely painting.
    To me it has a sense of all the seasons blending together, the greens and whites of Spring and Summer, the rusty orange and browns of Autumn and then the blues and whites of Winter.
    Very interesting, a beautiful effect 🙂

    • Wow! Thank you! To think they I was able to represent the seasons like that makes me stare at this all the longer, Littleskew. I like how you paired the colors, too!

  16. thanks for the comments on my blog lately L! and I wanted you to know I put masa paper on my Xmas list! can’t wait!

    • Hi Roni,
      I like visiting your space. You are so very creative and it inspires me to be more that way. Have fun with that masa when you get around to it. Mine sat for awhile, but not anymore! 🙂

  17. I’ve so enjoyed traveling through the masa paper technique. Each one delightful and a treasure. I wonder how many you part with? That sounds like a loaded question doesn’t it?

  18. ‘Doesn’t it ‘ equates to bad grammar… ‘does not it’. Time to un-think for a while. Love your paintings Leslie.

    • I like “doesn’t it”. That is the way I say it, but don’t know if I am “correct”, Keith. 🙂 Thank you. I have sold a higher percentage of masa paper and watercolor and rice paper collage than watercolors. I don’t know why. I think it may have something to do with certain techniques fitting an artists use of his tools. I also tend to be a little more playful and “out there” with these. Maybe people truly like something a little different. I just don’t know. Thank you!

  19. The way the colors seep into the veins of the paper reminds me of some colorful stones and rock faces. The colors in rocks often have a similar abstract quality reminscent of this painting. It’s very lovely and I like the way it inspires the imagination.

    • Thank you, Amber. I like what you say about the rocks and stone. I see that, also. I have tried, several times to get what I see of rock and stones to come forward but lose it in the process somehow! I see rock everytime I work with this paper. …and thank you for that about imagination! 🙂

  20. I like this one a lot Leslie,
    especially the wicked colours 🙂

    Happy Halloween
    my great friend 🙂 😉

    Androgoth XXx

    • Thanks, Andro! …and thank you for the Happy Halloween wish. Went Trick or Treating with my 3 and four yr old Granddaughters. That was a blast! Happy Belated Halloween to you! 🙂

  21. Very interesting to me to see where your abstracts go, Leslie. This one needs a lot of looking. I shall return on another day. 🙂

    • Thank you, Val. Your digital paintings, where you pull something up with color and shape, have always amazed me. Perhaps I am searching for some form of that type of creativity. Thank you for inspiring me with those images.

  22. i see water flowing and earth erupting and the sky spilling…this is spectacular, leslie…

    • Thank you, JRuth! I think I was feeling a lot of what you wrote, above, as I worked on this.

  23. I really like this painting, Leslie! Perhaps I am developing an appreciation for abstract… But more likely I just love your colors – amazing!

    • Thank you for this, Alex. If a realist artist can look at this and see something they like, I might be beginning to accomplish a little of what I set out to learn. I “see” and think more realistically, but something makes me want to express feeling and things I can’t explain. That is where I think some abstracts have really grabbed my attention. I know so little about this area of art and have been studying what I like and reading about different approaches artists use. This watercolor and collage is helping me to “see” differently, perhaps. I feel so naked without a reference, visually in front of me. I like what I am experiencing. For the time being, these may only be that; what I “see” appearing in the media on the surface of the paper. Someday, I may even be able to express freely! 🙂 …but thank you, Alex.

  24. Leslie, I am very bad at understanding abstract paintings. I just cannot read them but your post made me understand your painting and your thoughts behind it. I am watching how you are exploring painting on the rice/masa papers. One day I will try too.

  25. A little treat for you Leslie, I hope that you like it? 🙂 lol

    Have a wonderful rest of evening now 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

  26. I love the colors and the spontaneos flow. It’s always fun and am amazed on new things i see from your blog. Keep up the momentum and have a great week ahead.

    • Thank you Francis! Your new avatar is great. I think you are getting so good with the portrait painting. I liked the sunglasses self portrait! 🙂

  27. you’ve titled this one perfectly. I can see a thaw happening. The blues and the whites are so cold and they are thawing and melting downward. Great movement in this piece and as usual, wonderful use of the different papers.

    • I really like working with these papers and not having to follow anything concrete for a reference. It is fascinating that I can do anything like this. Thank you for that comment about movement!

  28. Hey, LOVE the this abstract piece of your’s Leslie, and the way the colours all run into each other creating lots of movement and spontaneity! Your work recently provides a great advertisement for these papers – they should pay you comission Lol

  29. Love the color in this. Seems richer than many watercolors. More textured too. I’m guessing the use of papers accounts for both of those. Really enjoying your recent art journeys.

    • Yes. The use of the papers brings an opaque look to the paint. The papers have textures throughout them and that brings that textured, more weighty look with it. Thank you Yousei! 🙂

  30. Very creative and abstract. I can see the thaw Leslie. You push the possibilities and inspire those of us who hide in our comfort zones.

  31. Oh, I love this a lot !!

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Spring 2012 « Leslie White on 31 Mar 2012 at 11:51 am

    […] Two other examples of this technique can be found here  and here. […]

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