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I learned a new word, ensorcelled, which means to bewitch or enchant. I found it in a poem written by Pen titled “Effigies”.  Thankyou, Pen!

I think I was so intrigued with the new word, it was part of what went into the above abstract. Also, there was a lot of talk about the “blood” moon this past month and I must have picked up on some of that while creating the above painting.

ensorcelled2  click to enlarge

It all began with this image, created in watercolor.

ensorcelled3 click to enlarge

Then came a layer of rice papers that I tore in abstract shapes and glued to the surface. My glue was made with one part water added to two parts acrylic matte medium. I devote two old brushes( one large, one small ) in order to attach the papers to the surface. Even though I clean the brushes following each use, they still get stiff and gummed up. I am very careful to not apply the mixture thickly or allow it to run onto the non-rice paper portion of the surface (this will affect and distort later applications of watercolor).

ensorcelled4  click to enlarge

I then go back and paint again, paying attention to what I see appearing on the paper. This is the most fun part of the painting. I am still learning how to let go and create from what I see appearing in the colors and the shapes. There is always an element of the unknown with these because I use different rice papers with textures running through them and they all accept the paint differently.  My partner becomes the materials I am using and the imagery that presents itself on the surface.  In otherwords, I never know what I am going to get when I start one of these.

ensorcelled5  click to enlarge

In the above step, I tried to pull the painting together by adding darks in and through the forms. I defined the orbs more. I gave it a promise of spring by adding some spring greens.

ensorcelled  final painting

To finish, I darkened the upper orange and yellow strip at the top, allowing for the suggestion of two more orbs or moons. I went back through the branches and, with little pieces of fiber strings I pulled from one of my ricepapers, I textured those gnarly branch-like forms. I also added fibers to the leafy greens, mid left.

For other posts with rice papers click here.





  1. Thanks for sharing your fun and exciting project. I see an image of the ‘old man in the moon’ in your second painting.

    • Wouldn’t that be fun?. Painting and rice papering in a group and trading our creations back and forth! I would have gone with “The Man in the Moon” ! had I seen him. Good eye! …and thankyou for the visit and the comment.

  2. Those threads always remind me of fabric but this painting in particular seems like fabric. It’s such a cool effect! And the color is so vibrant.Love the process shots!

    • I think you are right about that look of fabric. Thankyou for that, Cindy. Helps me to look at it a little differently. I always admire your work because it is so spontaneous and creative. When I work on these, I really feel more free.

  3. You’ve found the exact image to describe ensorcelled…Leslie, what a glorious watercolour you’ve magicked out of thin air… Isn’t imagination a wonderful thing eh? It could so easily be part of my Effigy poem.. Have a great Sunday …. Pen x

    • Yes, in answer to your question about imagination. These feel so different. I never know where the paper and paint are going to take me. I didn’t think of that, but the branch -like thingys could have been what started wrapping about you. Cool! Thankyou for the new word, Pen, and the comment!

  4. I’ve never been a fan of abstract art but I sure do like this piece, Leslie! I think because it looks like trees and reflected tress in water with a gorgeous sky…Surely beautiful!

    • I think I am gaining an interest in the abstract more and more. When I attend shows, I find myself backing off of the abstracts and staring and squinting. I look for movement and color and value changes and check out the titles. I also like to imagine what direction an artist’s hand took to make certain marks and, most definitely, how they might have felt while creating them. It’s a whole new world. I think the ones that have something in them that we can relate to are truly mesmerising. Thankyou so much for finding something in this attempt of mine, Sherry!

  5. Love learning this new word Ensorcelled! This abstract is very interesting. My eye continues around all of the branches over and through and over again. Your rice papers give this painting an interesting texture that works with your base watercolor. And the colors are cheerful and bright. There is a “infinity” quality about it to me.

    • Isn’t that a cool word? Me too. It’s probably been around for centuries and I cannot recall having ever read it anywhere before but in Pen’s poem.
      You did it again, Carol. Thankyou for seeing that idea of infinity because I sort of wanted this to look as though something was being encircled and encircled and encircled some more. That gives me hope that I may be able to make marks in a new fashion, once in awhile, and grow into this desire I have to begin to express myself through my own creations. I am still trying to get use to balancing the papers and the paint. That is the difficult part.

  6. I feel that when creative juice flows without a reference, without a boundary, it reachs a peak! Love the abstract that decribes the new word you taught me today Leslie!

    • Thankyou, so much, Padmaja. I know you work without references a lot and admire so many of your paintings you create that way. I hope to be able to spend some more of my time creating in this way.

  7. What beautiful piece! Such wonderful movement and energetic colors! I love it!

    • You are another artist who has inspired me to create, freely. I have enjoyed so many of your pairings of paint and collage, Isabelle. Thankyou!

  8. I think you captured the concept of ensorcelled quite well. I really like this piece.

  9. I simply love your painting, Leslie. So many bright and warm colors, not unlike those of Matisse. Improvisation but also talent and a lot of work ! We also have this word in French : “ensorcelé” or “enchanté”.

  10. Great painting, Leslie. And thanks again for describing the process. Ensorcelled, ensorceler… It’s curious… blogging helps to improve my French, too!

    • Ha! I love learning new words. I like the feel of how this one rolls out when spoken, also. Thank you, Nuno!

  11. Enchanting indeed. Your creativity knows no bounds. I love how this comes together with connections via the circular forms. And it makes me happy just looking at it.

    • This one, I knew would be of interest to you as you are so creative with your creations, Eva. I have another I’ve worked on that I will post in a few days. These take a long time because they take a lot of looking at from a distance. The most fun is allowing what happens on the paper to tell me the next direction to go. I know you have experienced that in your writing and artwork, both. Thank you!

  12. Exactly! You gave us so much in the circle of this painting. Perfect title! Love it!

    • Thank you, Kim! I hope to try more of this this summer. They are fascinating to watch take shape.

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