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The above painting was created  with the use of textured rice papers, watercolor, ink and white goauche. It is an attempt to begin a watercolor and rice paper collage in the same way as the  previous post here. While working on it, we were to search for something recognizable and bring it forward without the use of a photo reference. We relied only on the imagery we saw appear before us and created from that imagery.

The above is my cruciform design that I started with.  I splattered and encouraged dripping. At this stage, I was seeing two mountainous forms with a valley between.

I glued down some torn pieces of rice paper using the water and acrylic matte medium mixture. I fully intended for them to take the shape of  craggy cliffs because that is what I saw, at this stage.

As I added another layer of paint, however, the image that began to appear seemed to be a giant bird form.

I added more rice papers to fill out the wings and began feeding large drippy washes of a dark sky in the background. I remembered something about condors from Big Sur Kate’s blog and how they were endangered and now protected and decided to finish it with that thought.

I deepened the sky until I was satisfied with it and played around with lifting and glueing some more cloud formations in. The condor was created withloads of different torn rice papers, watercolor, ink and white goache to make him appear a little more ghostly.

Others I have created in this manner are here, here, and here.



  1. Oh, I’m first. 😀 I really, really love this one. It’s like the pause before a burst of movement. There is something about a bird in flight too. I’ve got a post up (yesterdays) with an artist-poet interview. Love it if you took a look sometime. He should be reading it sometime, and I’m certain he’d enjoy a comment from the art side (all poets so far).

    • I really like how you said that it was a pause before a burst of movement, Yousei. Thank you. That is a teaching moment for me.

  2. This is truly a stunning piece, Leslie. I was captivated the minute I opened your blog.

    • Thank you for “captivated”, Sherry. This was definitely so different for me I debated posting it.

  3. WOW!!! This is absolutely stunning, Leslie! I bet it was fun to see what your students came up with, too. 🙂

    • We had spring break last week, Beth, so I have not seen what they have done as yet. I AM looking forward to seeing them this Thursday. Thank you! These are quite challenging for me and take some time to complete.

  4. Awesome textures, final result and all the process. Thank you very much for sharing it.

    • Thank you, Nuno. You mention the textures and that is the whole point of even incorporating papers such as these, so good eye! The other fun thing about exploring this process is that it opens the door for abstract exploration.

  5. Thanks for your description of your process. I was so interested in how it went from two mountains to a condor.

    • Ha! I think it was my color and paper choices. Maybe I would have had to work too hard to bring it back to my original vision of two mountains. These take so long to complete that I try not to stress myself in the process. I go with the flow of what appears. Thank you, Carol!

  6. I love the texture and the colors this looks so vibrant and alive. Great work once again Leslie 🙂

    • Thank you, Alonso. The color actually came from trying to rescue “mud” that seemed to be creeping into this work. Thank you for noticing the textures these papers helped to create.

  7. I know how your creativity was triggered at every step! He resembles our own celestial bird Garuda.. liked it very much Leslie!

    • I just read about Garuda on Wikipedia. Thank you for letting me know about him, Padmaja! …and thank you for the comment!

  8. Oh boy, Leslie, this is a mind blower. I really, really like this strong, alive, view of one of our feathered friends. Lots of power in this one!

    • Thank you for this about strong and alive. I believe I thought of this bird, in particular because of it’s dance with extinction…and maybe the colors that were coming forward while I worked.

  9. Beautiful work as always, Leslie!
    Happy Easter to you and your family!

  10. Beautiful work, it makes me think this bird is flying through a storm, somewhere between the sky and the hills. Thanks for sharing this proces.
    Happy Easter, Leslie, to you and your family.

    • I was thinking a storm. It could be literal or the dance with extinction that this bird has faced. I like how you say, “somewhere between the sky and the hills”, Hannekekoop. Thank you! 🙂

  11. That really has to be one of the neatest effects I’ve seen. Wow, those wings are just so great and spooky. And the background colors are terrific. I still don’t know how you avoid muddy colors!

    • You are special, Cindy. Thank you about the muddy colors comment. I was afraid this one was muddy. I have found that there are times when mud helps push an idea into the open. There is mud in life. Why is it so bad to use it once in awhile in a painting if it is called for? So, thank you for this wonderful comment!

  12. the colors and movement of the condor sing… so lovely…

  13. Wonderful, Leslie. I think work like this helps us free our minds. In the long run, I think it also helps us compositionally because we are forced to “find” what will be the painting is giving us at the moment.

    • You can say that again, about freeing the mind, Ruth. These paintings offer up options. They also allow me to explore expressing myself without being tied to a photo or what is sitting in front of me. They are often what I’d call soul ventures and I love that. Thank you for this insightful comment. 🙂

  14. OMG! Leslie, these latest works of yours are sooo beautiful they take my breath away!!!! Thank you!

    • Thank you, so much, Eva. That means a lot to me, coming from you. I admire the work you do that always extends from your soul.

  15. This is just awesome!!!

  16. I love the final piece! And I love listening to your process! Good for you for going with the flow and let the painting speak! It worked ! Stunning!

    • Thank you, Isabelle. You do know you and others who worked with collage really were the artists that caused me to try some of these techniques? I enjoy the experimental nature of this as well as the feeling of creating from my soul…if that’s possible. 🙂

  17. Great mixed media. You are exploring, Leslie.

    • Thank you, Raji. Always trying to find a new way to express myself. 🙂

  18. Lots of movement – love the colour you used! I particularly enjoyed the first painting in its abstract form, then watching the bird emerge!

    • I especially enjoy your comments when I work like this, Lynda. I went back and looked at that first one. You are able to point out things that I go racing past. That first one has an interesting imagery regardless of any furthur development. Thank you!

  19. Reblogged this on J. Ruth Kelly and commented:
    It’s a treat to explore Leslie White’s art…have a look!

  20. Hi Leslie;

    I came here for some inspiration and I discovered some as my mind has been somewhat cloudy. 🙂

    I like what you are doing on these pages and the art is really touching the spirit.

    • What a totally special gift for you to relate through the spirit to this. Thank you, Ichabod.

      • Hi Leslie;

        wings spread
        touching east and west
        eyes focused
        on the world beneath

        flowing with currents
        in winds no one can see

        colors below reach out
        touching vision
        making changes
        in Condor’s way
        through a journey
        we cannot sway

        it looks for food
        and carrion it be
        the flight of the Condor
        finds the resting place
        of that
        which once had face
        and now
        needs to be erased

        for another to take its place

        the Condor is a noble creature
        doing what needs to be done
        to complete the circle
        in nature’s place….

        A little poem inspired by your painting 🙂

      • This takes my breath away, Ichabod. Thank you so much!

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Century Tree | Leslie White on 05 Apr 2015 at 2:48 pm

    […] before it dried. It caused the ink to spread and follow various fibers and the edges of the torn rice papers, enhancing the bark-like look and feel. I let that dry overnight. I then painted into the tree […]

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