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"Sweet Talk", 9" x 12", mixed media on canvas, 2015


March 4, 2019

Having the attention span of a gnat, I'm easily lured to a new medium. 

One of my art friends introduced me to water-soluble crayons a while back. They are the size and shape of kids wax crayons, but are water-soluble and have the price tag of fine art materials. They are so much fun to work with!

The same art friend had also introduced me to water media canvas (a canvas that will hold watercolor as opposed to oil or acrylic.) I'm sure you see where this is going...

One of the first, if not the first, attempts with this medium was an oak leaf. I had previously drawn oak leaves so I was already familiar with the structure and only had to contend with the new medium.

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"Oak Leaf II", 9" x 12",  water-soluble crayon on canvas, 2014

As one would expect when trying something unfamiliar, there were many frustrations along the way. The color kept lifting up and moving around as I applied more layers. I finally got it as good as I could and sprayed a sealant on it to call it done. 

Determined to figure this medium out, I did a few more on canvas. You saw "Sweet Talk" at the top of this post. Here is another one:

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"Candy Corn", 12" x 16", water-soluble crayon on canvas, 2015

When these canvases were displayed with some of my other work, it was very clear to me that they were transitional pieces. There was a definite "intermediate level" feel to them.

Since I wanted to be better than "intermediate" and I really liked this medium, I had to figure out how to master it. I chose the smallest watermedia canvas I had and sacrificed it.

No expectations, no rules, no trying to impress anyone, no deadlines, no anything  - just me, the art materials, and the trash bin. I used markers and whatever else I could think of to experiment with. Every time I made a mess on it, I'd use something else to clean it up. Or incorporate it into the design. Remember, this was a sacrificial piece solely for the purposes of learning (well, playing, really.) Very freeing. The trash bin was always ready.

Surprisingly, it turned into a delightful little piece I named "Hot Dog!". It has a place of honor hanging in my studio as a reminder to relax and let the art flow through me. That is the only way to transition to being a true artist.

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"Hot Dog!", 10" x 8", mixed media on canvas, 2015

(I knew you'd want to see it!)

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