This week has brought a wonderful change of weather. CELEBRATE! Leaves of flowers are finally popping up, and hope is in the air for winter to be about over.

These harbingers of spring were painted several years ago as a class demo. The whole paper was wet before the paint was loosely and liberally applied, then the little catkin shapes of the pussy willow were lifted off before the paper began to dry. A touch of pale pink was tapped into a few of the damp fuzzy shapes, at that point. Carefully adding just a bit of popcorn salt to some of the tips of the light shapes added a different texture, too.

Once the paper was dry, the stems and calyxes were added. One edge of the stems was lifted to give a sense of dimension. Makes a nice card to send to friends. 'Happy Spring' to all blogger friends north of the equator. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you today, Suzanne!

"HOPE FOR SPRING" Transparent Watercolor on 140# Arches, 5 x 7"



Yesterday my copy of Between Two Kingdoms arrived. The author, Storyteller Joe Boyd, has blogged about how many revisions he made to his book and how it felt like he was sending his child off to college once it was finished. Probably many artists from many genre are this way about their creative work. I certainly am with specific paintings and really regret with having parted with a few of them.

This painting from last summer went through several revisions itself. It began as a watercolor batik on rice paper but is now a mixed media painting on rice paper, mounted on a wrapped canvas. It, along with a couple of other paintings, left home this week for an art show that opens this Friday in Oakley at The Red Tree Gallery, east of downtown Cincinnati.

Some may prefer the original look of the painting - see first draft posted below - but it's long gone - now covered with more watercolor, fluid acrylics, caran d'ache crayons, and some ink. The original dark border was so inhibiting, and the pattern of lights and darks in the original was too weak to capture the eye. The arch on the right appeared too dominant, and the beautiful stone wall by the steps seemed like a fussy soldier, nearly forbidding entrance up the steps.

Those were my thoughts when I began to play with the adjustments. It also seemed to need something personal in it, too, something alive other than plants. Now there's a fairly obscure woman looking out of one of the windows. Putting someone walking up the steps seemed like the obvious thing to do and too predictable, too. A cat might have been nice somewhere perched on a step???

Sacrifices of some of the good parts of a work of art are often necessary to make the whole piece pull together. That's what happened here. No longer is this so obviously a watercolor batik, but hopefully, the painting is stronger. While I totally loved the glow in the original,- shown here to the left with the dark border - the impact of the revised painting above tells the story so much better of the ancient buildings and passages in a charming village on Lake Como.

If you are interested in seeing the original with its initial revisions done this past July click HERE. Have a great week!

"COMO COUNTRY" Transparent Watercolor and Hot Wax on Kinwashi, with Sumi Ink, Fluid Acrylics, Caran d'Ache Crayons, mounted on Wrapped Canvas 18 x 24"