Some days painting is great - creative, joyful, satisfying, but there are other days. This card was easy to design - I wrote out the word peace and transferred it to my water-color paper. I didn't do any other drawing because I wanted a soft flowing image. I did think about the image - which parts should be darker or lighter. Then I tried to get started. I needed to use a masking liquid to block out "peace" so it would stay white and I could paint around it freely and easily. So I tried to take the cap off the bottle of masking liquid. I have had difficulty with this before and on this particular day it was not working. It's a kind of super child proof cap. It's necessary because the liquid dries very quickly. The cap has to keep air from getting into the bottle. Necessary but frustrating. I somehow managed to spill masking liquid on the table without getting the cap off !? I cleaned up the mess and decided this was a project for another day. A few days later I tried again and after a few attempts the cap came off pretty easily. I don't understand why but I simply masked out the word peace and continued with the painting.
Our world is full of contrasts - violence, turbulence, many negatives - but there is also peace. I find peace in the sky and in water. In the summer I sometimes float in the pool and watch the clouds moving - peaceful shapes traveling and changing the sky. I find some beautiful reflections when I walk in the woods. In the winter the trees reach up to dance with the sky. I think it's important to seek peace because we are easily moved away from it. For me the peace card evokes the night sky and night can be a time of quiet and profound peace. Peace is one of the messages of Christmas so I chose to make this a Christmas card.
After my difficulties with the masking fluid the rest of the painting was relatively easy . I used some of my very favorite colors - Windsor violet and cobalt blue. I added alizarin crimson and pthalo blue. I painted several layers - looking, adjusting, using lots of water to keep the image soft. Initially I used way too much salt but that was easily dealt with in the next layer and then I was very firm with myself and used salt sparingly. Finally I removed the masking liquid and made corrections and adjustments to polish and enhance the final image.
I hope we can all find moments of peace in the coming months and share them with those we meet.