A New Work In Progress

A new work for my show, field sketches combined in the studio on a large sheet of paper 30" x 39"
A new work, "Canopy Life"; field sketches combined in the studio on a large sheet of paper 30" x 39"

Here’s a new piece- a mixed flock of birds sketched in the Amazon treetops, incorporated with a sketch of a bromeliad from the same site. It’s for my upcoming show in a section called, “Canopy Life: The View at the Top”. I needed an art assistant to help me with creative details, such as lifting the big sheet of wet paper (30″ x 39″) and getting it situated onto a wooden board, as well as photos for posterity and for your viewing pleasure. All photos by Tim Ryan of From the Faraway, Nearby. Thanks, TR!

Art, ready to be hosed.
Art, ready to be hosed.

The water cure. There's a shower curtain over the patio table to puddle water on. The idea is to wash off the loose graphite and get the paper REALLY well soaked.

The water cure. There’s a shower curtain over the patio table to puddle water on. The idea is to wash off the loose graphite and get the paper REALLY well soaked.

The canopy is a splendid place to study life at the top. Resources are abundant here: plenty of sunlight, free-moving air and first dibs on rain. Flowering canopies are festive with insects and hummingbirds. Against the flush of morning sky, a quartet of toucans performs an angular dance. The color’s all here: striped bromeliads, glamorous orchids, and a million brilliant butterflies.

For a breathtaking view of infinity, climb into the treetops of the Amazon rainforest. You’ll see an unbroken rolling carpet of tree crowns stretching to the horizon and beyond. The moist green edge of the earth rolls under the dome of the sky. Eden is at your feet. Amazon, 2008 ( exhibit label for “Drawing the Motmot: An Artist’s View of Tropical Nature” )

I lifted up the wet paper and Tim slid the wooden board underneath like a peel under a hot pizza. Once it was on, it got stapled down to hold it in place and dry nice and tight.
I lifted up the wet paper and Tim slid the wooden board underneath like a peel under a hot pizza. Once it was on, it got stapled down to hold it in place and dry nice and tight.
caption
I had three colors mixed: purple, turquoise green, and a peachy-salmon. All acrylic thinned down with water. The dipper I'm using here is a scoop out of a detergent box. About 1/2 a cup of paint is poured on and bleeds down the wet paper while I tilt the board.
It's really a lovely purple.
It's really a lovely purple.
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Next, turquoise. I'm using Golden Fluid Acrylic Turquois (Phthalo). Extremely concentrated. You could paint a wall with about an ounce of this stuff.
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I let'er run, while tilting the board to get the right spread.
Lift and angle, let the paint run where you want it to run.
Lift and angle, let the paint run where you want it to run.
Peachy-salmon last but not least.
Peachy-salmon last but not least.
Houseplants in the wild; an Amazon bromeliad painting in progress.
Houseplants in the wild; the Amazon bromeliad painting is ready for the next step: pastel.

Bromeliad’s leaves are shaped to scoop and store rain, creating treetop tanks for frogs and other aquatic critters. Birds come from far and wide to bathe, drink and forage in the hearts of these hospitable epiphytes. Amazon, January 2009 (Caption label, Drawing the Motmot: An Artist’s View of Tropical Nature”)

9 thoughts on “A New Work In Progress

  1. zeladoniac says:

    lulukieran- it’s Rives BFK heavyweight, a printmaker’s paper. It’s got enough tooth for pastel, it’s 100% rag and takes all media just fine. The big sheets (and rolls) only come in white. I like working on toned paper, so I came up with this method for coloring the background before going over it with pastel. It’s actually pretty nice as it is; I almost don’t want to touch it. We’ll see where it goes.

    Thanks, Becky!

  2. TR says:

    How could I resist the extraordinary company and the promise of grilled shrimp, chilled Asian noodles and chocolate chip meringue cooks with an accidental dash of fennel. Not to mention being in the presence of a master!

  3. Yulia says:

    Hello!
    I am artist-beginner and I am happy that I found today your blog and your website =) it was very inspiring so see something that beautiful and unique!

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