Archives for category: Pressed flowing

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Until now I’ve mastered my resin-pouring skills on little wood panels ranging in size from 4″x4″ to 8″x8″ and I’ve learned a lot. Enough to brave a large 16″16 piece. Not exactly a piece of cake, but in the end it worked. For future pieces this size I may make life easier by using a larger squeegee tool than the playing cards I set out when I resin groups of smaller pieces. Maybe a deck of kid-sized Go Fish cards from the toy department will do the trick. Inexpensive sponge paintbrushes work well for smoothing out the drips on the sides of the panels in the first hour of drying. By then the resin has set enough to stay put during the rest of the cure time.

I made this background wash by dropping well-diluted acrylic paints into a thick wash of water. I allowed most of it to dry at it’s own rate but created some interest at the corners by blowing stronger colors toward the center with a drinking straw. I tried out a burst of dramatic papyrus but, in the end, settled on the smooth curves on nasturtium leaves which nestled naturally into pools of color. These washes are a test for my patience as I have learned that only slow unaided drying of pooled water yields the thin filaments of deep color that I love against the transparencies.

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This simple composition consists of three leaves — scented geranium, ivy, and sweet potato vine — surrounded by a faux double mat. Sometimes simple is best.

I use Ralph Waldo Emerson quotations (and those of other wise men and women) in many of my botanical pieces. A lovely woman I met today at the Providence Artisan’s Market suggested I use this one from the great Massachusetts sage. While enhancing it with botanicals may prove a challenge — the quote is too long to repeat many times in a legible font — it brought tears to my eyes so it must happen!

“To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived—this is to have succeeded.”

Here’s an example of literature as foundation for my work:

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This is one of those days when I wish I had a graphics coach by my side. I’m sure there must be a shorter way to line up shapes perfectly than the one I use. Anyway, once it was done I got right to work on a companion piece which will have the same grey background and different colors in the ovals and outlines.

Meanwhile, my Andromeda is in its next phase — putting out new leaves which will eventually turn green but, right now, are a clear orangey gold. I can’t wait to see how they press! My Sweet Woodruff will be fresh and vibrant all season so I can harvest and process it at my leisure.