Monday, April 27, 2009

Fun with Watercolors

I have always loved playing with watercolors. At one point I even enjoyed weaving tapestries of some of my watercolor paintings, including this one.


I took a workshop with Marcel Marois, and he suggested that I should include a very thin strand of white silk in the weft to give the illusion of the white paper showing through the transparent watercolor. The other thing I learned from Marcel was to consider every single dot of color as I weave.

The painting was completely abstract, and after I wove it, I could not think of a good name for it, so I consulted an expert: my daughter, who was about 10 years old. My kids were always good at thinking of names for pets, so I figured “pets, tapestries, same general idea right?” I told her that although it looked like it meant something, I had no idea what it was about, so she titled it “Secret Message."


Last week I was doing some cleaning at my Mom’s summer cottage, and I noticed that 2 of my old watercolors had gotten a little moldy over the years.

This happens in the humid climate here when buildings are unheated. Both paintings are at least 20 years old. So although they are headed for the trash can, I decided to preserve them digitally.

I don’t care about the grid, because I made lots of those and they are really easy, almost mechanical. But I am sad about the still life; it’s one of my favorites and would be impossible to reproduce.



Jennifer said...

Your 10 year old has a sense about naming pieces. I love the "Secret Message"! Sorry to hear about the loss to the mold - that is hard, but I'm glad you could capture them digitally!

Sojourner Design said...


What a lovely post. I love the idea of basing a tapestry on one's own painting. I had thought that I could never do anything like that, but by playing with paints and keeping a studio journal I'm becoming more confident with paints.

Are you sure that those paintings must be thrown out? There isn't any sort of treatment to halt the spread of the mold?

I'm actually drawn most to the grid. I love mosaics and textiles that are artfully pieced together. I guess that's why.


Jan said...

I discovered my kids' naming talents when we got guinea pigs and within seconds they had named them Jumbo and Lily.

Unfortunately the paintings had even more mold on the back than on the front, so it did not seem possible to save them.

The grids were a lot of fun, but I'm much more interested in organic shapes. That's why they make different flavors of ice cream!