Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand’

Hope end of the day 2

In this rendering, “Hope at the End of the Day”, ↑ the blotchy foreground was created with Kosher salt.  The salt was added to the wet surface and allowed to dry.  Then I scraped the salt particles off with a nail brush.  The clouds “made themselves” when I rolled a wadded facial tissue across the upper part of the wet paper.

My husband looked at the painting and said, “Beautiful”.  But when I told him how the effects had been created, he rolled his eyes.  He thinks my tricks are a stitch!

And here’s another trick: birch trees created with tape to preserve the white paper.  The atmosphere is painted around the taped shapes, and the tape is removed when the paint dries.  Then you can brush some color into the trees, to reflect their surroundings: ↓

Birches III

Joe (my husband) actually aided and abetted this trick.  He saw me struggling, trying to make curvilinear shapes out of inflexible masking tape, and he went to his workshop for his painter’s tape.  It works!  I cut the shapes on a self-healing mat and voilà—birch trees.  Most of us Wisconsin natives love them!

Next comes the pouring trick, reminiscent of Jackson Pollack—only Pollock did HUGE works on a garage or studio floor with cans of alkyd enamel and I work on a card table with 37 ml. tubes of watercolor.   Anyway, here it is:  ↓

Aurora Australis

The gorgeous, feathery blooms happen when wet paint collides into semi-wet.  Whenever I do this, I think of the Aurora.  Normally I would name such a painting “Aurora Borealis” because I am a fairly far northerner.  But since we had a grandson in New Zealand awhile back, I called this one “Aurora Australis”.  I think I see the New Zealand mountains on the ground level.

And an all-time favorite—plastic cling wrap creating texture and shadows on the foreground rocks: ↓

New Zealand 1

Again, “New Zealand”—inspired by photos which our grandson shared with us.  ↑

And “Late Winter Thaw”, created with waxed paper pressed onto wet paint:  ↓

Late Winter Thaw 2

Finally, one more trick—“Jars in a Window”—featuring sandpapered schnibbles of water soluble ink pencil dissolved in wet paint: ↓

Jars in a Window

Too much fun!

Margaret L. Been, 2014

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Down Under NZ

Last week Joe and I hosted a birthday celebration for our grandson, Tyler, who is turning 20 next month.  We preempted the date because Tyler was back in Wisconsin from his South Carolina University, on Spring break.

In 2011-2012 Tyler spent a school year Down Under, at Capernwray Bible School in New Zealand.  He is a lover of wilderness—mountains, oceans, and wild forests.  New Zealand will forever be one of his most beloved places on earth!  Tyler came home last June with a treasure trove of photos which he shared with me, and for his birthday I decided to attempt a rendering inspired by his photos.

The above painting is a composite of several of the photos.  I went for the essence—the feeling of remoteness and isolation which all of Tyler’s pictures express.  Many of the photos are kind of grey-ish blue—but being “Me”, I always have to add color. 

Along with the New Zealand painting, I produced another for him to choose from:  a bleak scene evocative of Northern Wisconsin, Alaska, or Canada—places Tyler also loves to spend time.  Here is my “Boreal Twilight”:

Boreal Twilight

Along with the above two paintings, created especially for this young man who is ever dear to our hearts, I included several that I’ve done in the recent past—of wild landscapes, birch trees, mountains, rivers, rocks, etc.  All were archivally mounted, matted, and protected in a see-through envelope.  I presented the entire stack to Tyler, with instructions to select 2 paintings for his birthday gift.

Tyler studied them carefully, and finally picked the above 2 watercolor paintings—the very ones which I’d just made, with him in mind.  What is more, Tyler identified the paintings as “New Zealand” and “Up North”.  He even said of the “Down Under” painting, “You did this from my photos!” 

I was tremendously touched, and also amazed.  How encouraging is that!  🙂

Margaret L. Been, ©2013

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