an art request and a explanation of how i painted it

yesterday painkills2 said she’d like to see a painting inspired by (in her own words),

“Blue is my color. All kinds of blue. Is it okay if I make a request of the artist? How about a blue angel? Or a bird in flight? Show me… Freedom!”

i thought that was a great idea. here’s the result….

flight of freedom

i thought it might be fun to share how i made this painting. when i paint, i experiment. always. i have a bit of a series going on now, an ongoing experiment with watercolors and lots and lots and lots of water. most of the paintings i’ve done while working with my experimental technique depict spirits flying into the great beyond. they’re very very abstract.

some examples…

spirits aloftthree spiritsrising spirits

i start with a piece of Arches 140lb rough watercolor paper. the paper is very important. it’s the standard weight of good watercolor paper, but it doesn’t disintegrate when used with a great deal of water. it’s so cool, it feels like fabric. the finish is a little unusual . usually watercolor paper comes in “hot press” or “cold press” finishes. this paper is “rough.” it’s much toothier than the other two. i love to work with texture, and lots of water which is why this paper is perfect for myย paintings.

when i have all my supplies organized on my desk (it’s more of a table than a desk, quite large), i take a big brush and cover the paper with water. ย i experiment ย to see how i can play with how the paint reacts to the watery paper. i touch a brush which has been loaded with paint and water, to the paper. it blooms, bleeds, spreads, wicks, flows and feathers. i try varying amounts of paint, water and wetness of the paper. i also try putting brush to paper for different lengths of time an different amounts pressure, different brushes and different paints.

when i’m satisfied with the result of that i spray the paper with a little misting spray bottle to wet it evenly and “activate” the paint so it starts to flow and create the streaks you see in the paintings above. i do that by putting down thick lines of white paint, over what is already on the paper. i pick up the paper and hold it by a tiny bit of corner and let it dangle over a towel.

after that i spend lots of time adding water and colors and letting it flow. the paper is totally saturated and takes quite a while to dry.

that’s how i have fun!


21 thoughts on “an art request and a explanation of how i painted it”

  1. I really like the sense of movement in all of these, but of course the first one has the best colors, especially the purples. When I look at that one, I see a butterfly’s wing in the middle of a large iris, swaying in the wind. I also like the movement in the spirits, the feeling of floating.

    These are lovely, Ruthie, just lovely. Thanks so much for making my day ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. thank you for explaining, but sometimes not knowing is part of the mystique of the work. i am amazed at the volume /amount of work you make and to me you keep the quality high. well done and i wish i could be so lucky.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you very much! i agree, i rarely explain myself, especially since i make up my own techniques, don’t want to be too easy to copy! ๐Ÿ™‚

      i’m cheating a bit regarding the high volume of work. the photos are all from a couple of years ago. i have five years worth of art on deviantArt that’s never been shown here. most of it isn’t nearly as good as my new stuff, but some of it is not recent.

      although, i almost always create one thing, or more, a day. i don’t work and don’t have kids so i spend about 12 hours a day on art and internet.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Mysterious is good.:) thanks. A lot of these look like sky (night) scapes or sea scapes to me, so I see what you mean.

      I used to tape the paper down, but with this paper I don’t have to. It only warps a little tiny bit, when dry.

      I get a big brush (size 40!!!!!!!!!), get it very wet and paint the paper with water. Sometimes I do that several times.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I tried to tape before but dread of have to peel it off carefully afterwards. I guess if you use hips of water, the weight of the water probably suck and attach the paper to the board ?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I don’t even have a board, I just lay it flat on a towel! It’s the paper itself that acts so cool. It’s almost stretchy when water soaked. I lay it on a table, all flat and stretched out and leave it there to dry.

        Pulling the tape off is super scary! I’ve messed up quite a few paintings that way!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Do you iorn it afterwards, just joking ๐Ÿ™‚ I press down my stack of dry works(same size) with heavy old books for a few days. Yet, to iorn them to be crspy straight and flat.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. i always wanted to try encaustics, that’s what iron and art make me think of! lol
    i try the book thing too, but it never works well enough for me either. maybe my books aren’t heavy enough? hehe it seems like books on the wet paper would work really well, but ruin the painting!

    i haven’t found a good answer yet. meh!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ruthie, this is my first visit to your blog and you have inspired me to consider trying to do art again. My arthritis has kept me from doing the kind of detailed work I’ve always favored. If the new medication works (methotrexate) then who knows. Anyway, I really like your use of shape and color. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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