My two cats Silky and Salvatore, conscientiously woke me at 6:30 this morning to save them from certain starvation. Last week, before we moved the clocks ahead for Daylight Savings Time, it was light at 6:30 a.m., this week it’s dark as pitch. After feeding and petting the cats, I ensconced myself at my computer by a big window to begin my a.m. routine as the daylight worked it’s way to Florida. Even though it was still pretty dark, I could see the squirrels were up and running, the school busses were on their way to gather students, people were on their morning run or walk, and birds were chirping. Squirrels, cats, and birds, aren’t beholden to clocks, appointments, and time, of course, but most of the rest of us are. The ‘time’ changes…the schedule does not.
Here is one of my watercolor on tissue paper paintings titled ‘Tranquil Angel’ where the technique was inspired by the ancient Zen meditation ritual where monks gazed at crumpled, white rice paper until a vision appeared. See more of my work for sale on Etsy at www.lynnefrenchdesigns.com where for a limited time I’m offering free shipping on all purchases, just enter the coupon code FREESHIP4YOU at checkout.
When I paint using the Zen inspired watercolor on tissue paper method the image is clearly presented to me from the folds and swirls of prepared tissue…my ‘job’ is to capture the image with color. Likewise, when I paint in oils, on location outside, or en plein air, the image is also presented, but visually at a distance… the work surface is flat and blank waiting for the image to be applied. Even though the image is inherent in the tissue paper folds, it takes days…usually weeks, and often longer, to complete even a small ( 5″ x 7″ for example) watercolor on tissue painting….a larger painting like Scattered Cosmos, 3′ x 4′, in my previous post, took two months to complete. Painting en plein air my only time constraints are usually weather and daylight. I have trained myself to paint quickly outdoors with my palette knife, and with the cooperation of the weather, I can complete several small-ish paintings, (8 x 10, 11 x 14 ) in one day….Below is a watercolor on tissue painting, Goodbye, that measures 11 x 14 and took more than a month to evolve and complete….the 11 x 14 impressionist landscape oil shown following it was one of three small oil landscapes completed in a morning. I love all painting, but I always return to focus on these two styles….and both methods, the slowly revealed watercolor on tissue, and the spontaneous plein air impressionist landscapes, suit a need, time and a place….more of my art is at http://www.lynnefrenchdesigns.com
Finding and capturing the image revealed in the watercolor on tissue paper process is sometimes like catching smoke in the wind…not an easy task, but perserverence is almost always rewarded by an amazing image…this is Scattered Cosmos which measures about 3′ x 4’….more of my art is displayed at http://www.lynnefrenchdesigns.com
Wild Iris was one of the first watercolor on tissue paper paintings I did. My watercolor on tissue process has really inauspicious beginnings. I had received a gift wrapped & insulated with soooo much tissue paper I couldn’t bear to throw it away, so I set it aside in a drawer. Sometime later I read an article about ancient Zen monks who, as part of a meditation ritual, would crumple a piece of rice paper, then smooth it, then stare at the white surface in meditation until an ‘image’ appeared to them….I thought of how it was kind of like seeing images or shapes in clouds, and I started to think how it would be interesting to emphasize the image with color and shading, etc…and I began my experimentation that lead me to finding images with watercolor on tissue paper. See more of my original art at http://www.lynnefrenchdesigns.com