Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Complex Organisms

Scipio, watercolor and graphite on handmade paper, copyright Nina Leung, 2017
  I've had a grand time with these guys. I've realized, since my last post, how wonderful and even freeing it is to limit the palette. This time around, I limited myself to only yellow, green, and pink/red. Though the yellows are more of a yellow-green and the greens, green-yellow. I'm pushing for the split complementary. What a wonderful way to color combine. And since I decided on this palette, I'm seeing it everywhere! It's in our front yard with a yellow blooming shrub next to a lavender plant blooming fuchsia, it's up the street where I see a yellow and green striped aloe next to tiny pink wildflowers. There's a reason we mimic nature, our eyes love it!

  Scipio, above, was a pretty serious challenge. It's painted on handmade mulberry paper from Thailand. I bought it at the paper factory myself many years ago and have been carefully saving it all this time and I'm so glad I did. This big guy needed it as a home. The difficulty was in the way the paper took the paint. It mostly acted like a blotter paper so the paint wouldn't flow. I had to work lightening fast and figure out the exact amount of water to add so it wouldn't run too much when it dried. That challenge was quite fun, though. I enjoy working quickly and having to concentrate hard. It's a good brain workout! The imagery came, again, from imagining the weird micro-organisms discovered in the Cave of Crystals in Mexico.

Lovely Organisms, watercolor on paper, copyright Nina Leung, 2017
  These two came from having a nice chunk of time to do some work and just laying some paint down and seeing what came of it. It got weird. I made some awkward shapes, but I knew I could save them or I should at least try and I came up with the one above. It was accidental and when that happens, wonderful things come about. I'm really happy with these simply because they're so strange and I so enjoyed making them. It also helps that my 7 year old really likes them!

Gnaeus, watercolor on paper, copyright Nina Leung, 2017

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