Saturday, May 2, 2009

Playing in "other" media

"Hummingbirds" is a watercolor painting created in 2007 for an artist-book round robin.
(These pages are in the book of artist Linda Rael)

"Hummingbird Nest" watercolor painting
(finished page sizes:  8x10 inches)

I enjoy the challenge of working in media that I am less familiar with than fiber.  Twelve years ago when we moved to Texas I promised myself that I would find a painting instructor and learn about oil and watercolor.  I spent 3 years primarily focused on the world of paint and where it could take me.  Painting was a very "zen" experience for me.
Around 2000 I stumbled upon the idea of art cloth and took another artistic detour.  At first I felt like I was abandoning the painting process (or that it had abandoned me).  I felt like some sort of door had slammed shut in my creative process.  It made me anxious.  I started thinking that my creative drive had "dried up".  Gradually, as the love of creating unique cloth with personal imagery began to unfold and I saw the potential in my quilt work, I realized it is all part of the artistic journey for me.  Learning to paint opened up some new avenues of creativity for me that have enriched other areas of my work.  Although I do not paint on canvas or paper as much as I did a few years ago, I will occasionally take out my supplies and immerse myself in that world again.  
The hummingbird paintings were such fun to create, and I love that they belong to Linda as part of her lovely book.
Taking risks, trying a new media/technique is both scary and wonderful.  I am continually surprised at how a bit of knowledge from one type of media can contribute to work created in another.  The other lesson is that, when challenged and "stuck" in one area of art, it is sometimes helpful to revisit a completely different media to get the juices flowing again.


  1. Leslie, these are so charming! Along with your paintings, I love the handwriting in the background. The overall effect is soft and dreamy ... I hope you do more of this type of work!

  2. I love to paint with watercolor, and I revisit my paints now and then.
    What about you? Do you ever paint?


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