15×22 mixed watermedia
My abstract pieces may appear to be either microcosm or cosmic macrocosm, but each has an internal rather than an objective source. The subject matter is energy, dimensions and multiple realities. Vibrant color is my primary tool in translating the interaction and transformation of energies.
My mixed water media abstracts are created with both watercolor and acrylic inks. The inks can be mixed with water to obtain any degree of transparency, but used straight they are very intense and opaque. Some contain opalescence, as well. I begin by pouring areas of 3 or 4 light, clean (often primary) colors on my wet, stretched watercolor paper. The areas of color may overlap, but I don’t allow any muddy colors to form. This is the lightest layer of the painting, and bits of it show through in the final stages.
I then let the paper dry completely, and again after every new layer. That is why one piece can take so long to complete, but it’s also how I keep the colors as clear as I want. I usually use a very large brush to apply clean water to the area where I want to add color. Then I pour or drop color into that very wet swath and move the paper around to let the colors flow. I develop the composition as I go, and I generally start with transparent colors and use more opacity in later stages. I know I can always darken an area with the acrylic inks later, and the pearlescence is fairly opaque as well. If I want just a little shimmer, I dilute it a lot and mix a bit with watercolor. This process continues for days. Most of my time is spent just staring at the piece until I decide what the next step and layer should be. When it feels like nothing more is needed anywhere, I’m done.
Connections was published as a book cover for the college text, A Handbook of Feminist Research, by Sharlene Hesse-Biber, SAGE Publications.