I’m in the beginning stages of some new watercolor on tissue paintings.  I have prepared the support for the tissue paper with a few coats of white gesso, and have applied the random layers of crumpled, and smoothed, tissue paper to the support.   Next, I paint over that with more white gesso and let it dry.  This method is inspired by an ancient Zen meditation ritual in which the monks would crumple a piece of white rice paper, smooth it, then meditate on the shapes of the folds and swirls left in the paper until a vision appeared to them….much in the same way, I meditate on the white gessoed surface until I perceive an image in the random folds of the tissue….then light washes of color are applied and strategically lifted, and progressively an image emerges.  The thing is, it is very often not the image I had perceived.   There begins the battle for me to release my perception, and accept the reality of what is inherently there, not what I think is there  :}   I could simply lay the tissue on the support and paint a picture on it, using the tissue only for a textured effect, without searching for, and using the image already there.   That has no resonance for me..no beauty of struggle, or sense of mystery…..so, slow learning human that I am,  I begrudgingly submit to the intrinsic image that emerges and I am never disappointed.  Below is one of my unexpected watercolor on tissue images.   See more of my work for sale at www.lynnefrenchdesigns.com

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