Watercolor and Pastel Artists at CHAW
Editor’s note: In this blog post, Linda describes her approach in creating her multimedia collage In the Mangrove, currently part of the show “Summer Work” at the CHAW Gallery, 545 7th Street, SE, Washington, DC.
The southeastern United States is filled with wetlands to explore. I’m particularly fond of the mangrove swamps in Florida. The DeSoto preserve on the west coast is a gem. Wooden walkways allow you to wander through the dense tropical growth without disturbing the ecosystem.
The process for creating In the Mangrove was a somewhat trial-and-error one. I knew what I wanted the result to be—the question was how to get there. First, I painted a watercolor background of blue and green that would represent the sky seen through the mangrove growth.
Once the strips of paper were in place to represent the mangrove reeds, I began to work with my watercolor markers. For the water, I drew swirly lines with black and did some detailing at the base of the reeds. I used the ochre marker to make the bottoms of the reeds look wet where they went into the water. I began to darken the water and sky around the reeds to give depth. I then painted the water with standard watercolors and worked back and forth to achieve the darks and lights that I wanted.
The next step was an experiment that didn’t really work. I cut clear polyester film in the contours of several of the swirls, thinking that this shiny film would glisten under the lights, but when I put glass on the painting to be framed, the shininess didn’t show up under the glass. So I took the glass off and painted some white gouache lines on the swirls, to suggest light playing on the water. In the finished piece, below, the pieces of polyester film are still there, you just have to look very closely to see them.