Saturday, January 02, 2010
Frozen door to dawn
I wanted to experiment a bit more with ice crystals and watercolour, but in a more structured way instead of abstract forms. A bit of quick planning was needed as the weather this year has been above freezing for quite awhile, with just a couple of early mornings or late nights that have been cold enough to freeze anything. I had an image of an old door, very similar to a door in the barn with windows held in with aging putty (remember putty?) years of dirt and a bit of luck. I chose this as the starting point for my image.
The night before I sketched out the door on 300lb watercolour paper and waited for the cold dawn. I wetted the paper and added pigment to represent the trees and the rising sun peeking through them as I've seen so many times. I then put the paper outside to freeze, hoping the flurries wouldn't change the effect I was after, it wouldn't blow away or someone/something would take it.
Note the elegant technology of in my method of freezing a watercolour. Upturned turkey roaster and a bag of dried marrowfat peas to weight the paper.
I have mysterious painting thief you see. I put two small pieces outside the back door the other night. There was no wind, no one around, but the deep dark woods. I weighted the pieces with stones. When I came back 30 minutes later, one was missing, stones and all, the other was still there. Is there a marauding squirrel who likes art? A discerning fox? Tripod?? Wherever it went, I don't know.
However, despite challenges with wind and weather and art thieves, I continued on and the freeze was successful with lovely ice patterns appearing on the 'windows' just as they would in real life.
Once it was dried, I continued to build the watercolour of the old door and lock around the frozen paintings that would become the windows.
I'm calling this piece done for now as I could fiddle with it forever, trying to distress it further until I really do distress it! The paper even though heavy is curled slightly so the image is a bit distorted. I will take a better image and in day light once the paper has flattened. It measures about 12 x 15 inches.