Skip navigation



This is a new abstract using the rice paper collage with watercolor. As I worked on it, I saw a dove appearing in the upper right quadrant. I couldn’t help but to bring that dove forward and let it be about her, or him.



I began, as usual, working toward  abstract washes and marks and allowing the watercolor to mingle.



I glued some torn rice papers on the surface with glue made from one part water and three parts acrylic matte medium. You can also make a mixture of water and PVC glue or acid free Elmers glue. All three work for these. I waited for the glue to dry and painted some more. As I work these stages, I prop the painting up on my mantle and move away from it and study it as I wait for it to dry, sometimes overnight. I will turn the painting all different ways and search for imagery in it, especially areas where I can develop a center of interest.



I began to see an image of a dove appear and started darkening the shapes around her by adding more papers and painting around and through them.



As the dove came forward, I felt it time to begin balancing the red of the sun and describing the background just enough to suggest a few things like a horizon line, a watery landscape and maybe a bridge, trying not to get too detailed. I want to let the viewer see their own story in this so I just concentrate on guidelines of composition like values and contrast of shape and line and color combinations. I like it that these pull out a viewer’s imagination.



To finish the painting, I darkened and textured the the blue water behind the dove and carried that darker color over to the left. I added a rice paper that had little silver bits in it to the waterway under the bridge and softened the abstract shapes under the dove by adding some more stringy rice papers there.

These are fun!!!!!


  1. Hi Leslie, these collages are developing rapidly. You’re on a roll!

    • Wish I was on a roll. I actually work on two of these at a time, anymore. They take so long to create and there is so much time waiting for the different stages to dry. So, this one was coming along at the same time as the previous one. Thank you, Outsideauthority! 🙂

  2. Wow. there is so much movement in this piece. While I see the dove in the upper right quadrant, I also see other bird and wing shapes that look like they are moving. I get the feeling a flock of birds just took off from the water.

    • Very cool, Carol, that you see the suggestion of other wing shapes. I love that! That’s what I mean about leaving these up to the viewer’s interpretation. I also did not mention that it is really difficult to know when a painting like this is really finished. I think an artist could keep creating and changing things. Thank you!

  3. Your experiment turned into a great composition. The dove wasn’t seen at first then I realized it appears to be landing on what looks like a branch. This composition is up to the viewer to interpret. I like it.

    • Yes! Now I can see the branch, too! Thank you for that bilomatthews! That is what I meant about leaving enough abstract so the viewer can see for themselves. Thank you!

  4. OMG that’s really awesome!! Love to see how you get to such impressive results, so thanks for sharing Leslie!!
    Inspiring as always!

  5. Very effective … warm regards Karen

  6. Very creative and the process is magical, as is your work.

  7. Love the freedom of expression here, not only the freedom for you to create, but also the freedom for us to weave our imagination around the image. Enchanting!

    • ..and you do that so well, Padmaja, weave our imaginations. I’ve long admired your intuitive paintings. Thank you!

  8. What a cool technique! I love what you did with the bird.

    • Thank you, for that, Cindy. The bird fascinated me; that it was even there for me to bring forward. 🙂

  9. Intriguing painting and loved your account of the progress.

  10. Wow this is great Leslie! Love the energy and movement, particularly enjoyed the process!

    • Thank you, Mary. I really enjoy experimenting with these and seeing what comes forward.

  11. This is lovely. Draws me right in. Has the appeal of stained glass.

    • I didn’t see that, about stained glass, but do now! Thank you for that, Marian!

  12. Love it!!

  13. I like the way the curves of the bird is echoed in the water.

    • Thank you for that, Ruth! I hadn’t noticed that. Sometimes, I guess we get in a zone and this is what happens. Thank you for your vision!

  14. I love all the lines and the beautiful colors! There is such movement and joy in this! It speak of a happy state of mind.

    • I didn’t even think of that! Thank you! It does! Something about the color choices and flying and the white bird. This is what I like about being able to share what we all create. You all help me with your vision and ideas. Thank you for that!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: