22×30 mixed watermedia
The technique used to paint this piece is the same as for my other mixed media abstracts, but there was a different intent. It was actually meant to be more autobiographical, although certainly not a self portrait in any obvious way. Instead, I chose a palette limited to what felt like my most familiar “internal” colors. In the end, though I had to add some touches of gold and reddish hues to warm the image up just a bit. I’ve noted that since I made this painting in 2001, my work contains much more of the full color wheel.
Technique: I work in multiple layers of watercolor and pearlescent acrylic inks, letting the paper dry completely after each application of color. I use a large brush to apply clean water to an area of the paper 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 can always darken an area with the acrylic inks later, as they are more opaque than 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.