Friday, October 20, 2017

Sacred Time, Sacred Space

I get very reflective as I watch the seasons change.
 I wish it would always be spring and summer. Fall is ok, but it is a harbinger of winter which is my least favourite season. I am sad to watch the vibrant greens in the garden wither to brown and then fade away. But I have been learning to savour all time and all space around me. Whether I am rushed and trying to cram too many things into my schedule or if I am quiet room and alone with my thoughts there is something to learn, something to see, something to savour.
This spring we embarked on building me a permanent studio outdoors.
Dedicated space for me to work, surrounded by the garden, the birds and the sound of the trees.My goal is to keep it free from the computer and cell phone. So far I am winning that battle, but we will see what evolves.
I feel so incredibly blessed to have this space. It still feels like a dream. Chris insisted on a glass railing for the deck so I can see through it when I am working at my desk.  The folding table from the gazebo served as my workstation until my furniture arrived.
My commute to my studio is about 40 feet away from the door of my house. I wanted to share a special photo with you. The little prisms dancing on the wall are from a solar rainbow maker. Chris and I first came across this little magical surprise when we rented a cottage a few years ago. I have wanted one ever since, but knew that the device would drive Oscar crazy. It seems like such a small thing, but for about an hour each morning, when the sun hits the rainbow maker, my studio seems blessed with a magical dance of light. It brings me such a spark of joy.
The last photo for now is of my desk in place. The studio is still quite bare but it feels like home. I want to run out there every morning and enjoy the quiet space. I have so many projects to catch up on and it feels like an exciting new beginning. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Fluid 100 Hot Press Watercolour Paper

At my last workshop, I was given some samples of watercolour paper to test out. The first on my list was Fluid 100 Hot Press paper. This is very affordable paper and I wanted to try some out but had not yet placed an order. I am so grateful to Gretchen for sharing some of this lovely paper with me. I am currently testing it for gilding, inking, erasing, dry brush and wet on wet glazing technqiques. Across the board I would give it high marks. It gilds brilliantly. The shine of the gold is brilliant on this paper. I was able to erase lines easily and inking with McCaffery Brown was as expected on this paper. No surprises. I can build up lots of detail with dry brush techniques. Layer after layer went into the owl and the paper is wonderful for holding tiny details.
   When I tried wet on wet techniques for the apple leaf, I did not stretch the paper. I applied washes liberally on the small surface. There was very slight buckling of the paper but as the glazes dried, the paper flattened. The washes soak into the paper and I think the paint dulled slightly more than I am used to. I tried lifting out the veins and the highlight of the leaf and had some success with that. I will continue to layer the leaf with more glazes and dry brush. I like what I see on this paper and think it is defintlely worth investing in. I will try a full engrossed project on this paper and report back. Thank you Gretchen! Love this paper!