In 'pre-YUPO' days, the unique surfaces available to paint on were either gessoed watercolor paper or watercolor paper coated with gloss medium. Aquacanvas, Aquaboard, and Clayboard for Watercolor hadn't arrived yet, and YUPO, then called Kimdura paper, was just beginning to emerge in the art world as a surface to explore.

This watercolor painting was created over layers of gloss medium. First, the polymer gloss medium was applied in two or three coats to create a slick, smooth finish, and each coat had to dry before the next one was applied.

The very week that I painted this picture was the same week someone handed me a small sheet of YUPO, back in 1997. It took two years for me to find my way on that slick YUPO surface, even more slick than the gloss medium surface. I nearly hated the crazy things that happened with the paint on YUPO then, but I refused to give up. Finally, a few breakthroughs encouraged me to keep painting on the YUPO. How I love it now! The possibilities are limitless of what can be created on this incredible surface.

Next Wednesday, I'll be giving a YUPO demo at the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society meeting in Mt. Adams. We'll also have a class afterwards so that artists can further explore how to handle this surface. This time the demo will be with Fluid Acrylics, applied like watercolor. Hope to see you there if you live in the area.

Here's the painting reversed, to make a point of how our eye normally prefers to enter a picture from the left. Here the waterfalls is, in our minds, falling down (into the lower left hand corner,) and it seems that it's hard to go up against the flow to enter the painting at the lower left. What do you think? Is there better eye movement throughout the painting with the falls in the lower left or the lower right?

"OREGON" Transparent Watercolor on 140# Hot Pressed Arches precoated with Gloss Medium, 30 x 22"