We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
"Little Gidding"
T S Eliot

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Pieces of silver ...

I started this painting about 3 months ago, and then lost my way. I've gone back to it about half a dozen times, and finally finished it last week.

As usual, I was experimenting! I drew the outline of the trees then covered them with tissue paper, wrinkling it as I stuck it down. I then wondered if I could get away with covering the tissue with masking fluid while I did the background, and then get the masking fluid off successfully.

You don't know unless you try! So that is what I did, painting the background with a dark blue watercolour mix - I did about 4 watercolour washes.

The masking fluid had been on for about 48 hours, and now was the time to try and get it off without ruining the tissue paper. I rubbed it off very slowly and ... it worked!

The Autumn foliage is done with gouache, which was not intense enough for me, so I then resorted to heavy body acrylics - much better. I think there also may be a bit of oil pastel in there too!

I used texture paste for the grass area, and then watercolour,  also some gouache - oh and - heavy body acrylics!

Finally, added the dark patches on the trunks, using the tissue wrinkles as a guide.

Since I've been doing all those art courses (it has been 2 years now), I've learnt that most times when I begin something it looks awful, and I'm tempted to bin it, but it is only once I've been working on something for some time (like this one), that eventually it may come together (probably!). So not so much goes in the bin now. I'm also quite happy to use any combination of media to get the result I want.

I'm entering this for the current Paper Artsy challenge, which is all about dark to light (contrast).

Having finally finished the painting, I was inspired to write another Haiku ...

Gold red cloaks falling
Pale figures reaching skyward
Ere long silent ghosts


  1. This is unbelievable, Kay. I was very impressed with the amount of time you spent on this painting and the number of media you used to get the effect you desired. It's a genuinely gorgeous piece, and I really like it.

    When you said masking fluid over tissue, my mind conjured the worst possible outcome. Instead, you made it work, with slow, patient removal.

    What you learned about the painting often applies when I am cleaning and organizing. I notice it looks the worst right before it all comes together. Guess the same applies with your mixed media paintings, too. GREAT JOB!

  2. Wow, it's lovely. A very effective technique. Thank you for sharing

  3. I love this. I found it when I was looking at the PaperArtsy Dark to Light entries. That's very cool that the masking fluid worked on your trees to allow you to do the dark background.

  4. Art is such a learning curve. Sometimes we are on a tricky bend and other times we are able to freewheel for a while. So pleased that your perseverance paid off. It's beautiful. X

  5. This is beautiful, so pleased it escaped the bin! xx

  6. Yes it did come together in the end! Quite a fabulous forest impression, I think...