Monday, May 18, 2009

Mixed media

I've been doing a few miniatures as part of a project with my friend Mary VanMeter, owner of Water Street Gallery in Petersburg, W.Va. Mary's not into the internet or e-mail, preferring a solid correspondence as a way to stay in touch. So we've been sending notes to one another this spring, each containing a miniature original.

The last two I've completed have used watercolor and colored pencil. I did not save an image of the first mixed media attempt (Mary has it now), but here's the second one, which I'll pop into the mail tomorrow.

Once upon a time, I was very proficient with colored pencil, which suits my neat-freak, controlled style. But it fits me too well...

Watercolor allows me the opportunity to be bolder and less controlled. Happy accidents are just magical, and water and pigment provide those wonderful surprises in abundance.

This little piece, which is the size of a trading card (2.5" x 3.5") requires me to simplify shapes.

I've done a few small pieces which are quite detailed, but I think this miniature exercise should expand my techniques, rather than shrink my existing style. So I've been trying out new ideas in the series. The simplification of shape and the addition of another medium are just two of the ideas I've explored.

I'll continue to make some other attempts in this vein. I'm trying to make myself think in terms of woodblock prints, with sharp edges, simple shapes, and stark contrasts. I think contrast is what this piece still needs.


  1. What fun and a great idea to share your beautiful postcard paintings with your friends. Keep going!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement Kathy! I found your Web site earlier this week (can't remember how other than I saw a thumbnail of one of your Fragments series and immediately wanted to see more!) And I loved your Sold Twice blog entry...