An Artist's Quest for "Soul" in a Chaotic World—by InnerSpirit

This is my InnerSpirit blog page...a page of reflection...inquiry...
and artistic questions about myself, my life, and the world around me. A place for my own personal contemplation of my emotions, my actions, my art, my spiritual journey and how they all intertwine and influence each other. I hope that you check it out, think a little about your life and the many creative things that you might be engaged do those fit into your life and impact the various aspects of your own life? Let's reflect together!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Effort Can Still Fall Short Of The Vision

I have finally gotten around to posting my Art Every Day Month Challenge piece for Day #18 and #19. Can you feel my obvious rebellion to posting? Even though I spent a lot of actual time on this piece, I feel like it still looks unfinished and amateurish to me. Ah, "give it up" and say, you tried something and "you have what you have". Life will go on. As you have probably gathered by now, I am not extremely pleased with the final result, though I like the second cropped version a little better (see the narrower image below). Do you ever have one of those times where the image you see is much more interesting than the way the piece turns out in the end? I have to look at it as an experiment. I figure this is God's way of telling me to remember to be humble. I tried a few new things, namely colored pencil on rough watercolor paper...I can't say I am a fan of the effect, or at least my own execution of the technique. I have done this hidden imagery watercolor work before to produce a few pieces, but at that time, I went back into the original abstract watercolor pieces with more watercolor lines to define areas and then added some other mixed media stuff and those pieces seemed to work better for me. I might play with this one in Photoshop and see if I can do something else with never know.

A Process Of Exploring Imagination
The process that I followed to create this art did allow me to enjoy engaging the  imaginary, playful side of my personality and that is always good. They say this type of imagination work is good for keeping Dementia at bay, so Kudos for me...I'm not getting any younger! Here is the process that I did, in case anyone wants to try it. It is a really fun process and it always provides new ideas and visual shapes to challenge your imagination, much like dragging or dripping India ink to make shapes on the page and then finding the hidden image.

Here we go: 1) Wet a sheet of watercolor paper (I use a watercolor block of cold pressed paper so that I don't have to stretch the paper before starting, but you can do the stretching if you want to). Cold press or rough watercolor paper is preferred over the hot press papers due the fact that they are both rougher, and they allow the pigment to settle into the crevices and create really cool shapes when you complete Step 3. 2) Once the paper is thoroughly wet; pour, drip, or spatter watercolor paints of any color combination onto the wet surface. 3) While the paper is still wet, take a sheet of plastic food wrap (or more than one if you are working on a very large sheet of watercolor paper) and lay it over the paint. Once you have it on the surface, take your fingers and "scrunch" it up is some areas or push areas together so that the plastic wrap has lots of wrinkles and crevices for the paint to flow into. 4) Set the watercolor sheet, with the plastic still attached to it aside to dry thoroughly. 5) Once it is completely dry, slowly peel back the plastic to reveal some lovely abstract images that you can work with (you can see a sample below of how the watercolor sheet that I drew into looked after the plastic was removed–this is a portion that I cut off, but you can get the basic effect). The shapes are always different.

Once you have your abstract shapes, squint a bit at them a bit or spin the paper in each direction and look patiently until you find some imagery that is waiting to come alive for you. This is a lot like finding shapes in the clouds when you were a kid. If you aren't inspired with found imagery, these shapes are still fun to embellish as abstract art or they can be used as a background for another art piece.

Have fun and let me know if any of you try this fun technique. I would love to see posts or any art you do with this if you are willing to share. This process is usually quite relaxing, that is, IF you do not get too frustrated and overwork the piece trying to get something to I did.

Happy Painting,


  1. Oh wow...this is so cool. I'm not sure I have the patience to try something like this, but it really is beautiful.

  2. Thanks Natty...You don't really have to have a lot of patience to get something cool. I chose to add the colored pencil, but sometimes the shapes left by just the process are interesting enough by themselves or as part of another piece. You can even squirt some pearl or metallic thinned paint into the "scrunched" areas once the plastic is stuck down and tip the paper to let it flow into some wrinkles to create metallic "veins".

  3. I like this very much! The more you look, the more you see... And thanks for reminding me of this technique! I plan to experiment with it and see what develops.

  4. Hi Lisa...thanks for stopping by and the vote of encouragement. Yes, there are lots of things to see in these images. I am glad that I was able to remind you of this technique. I would be curious to see what you create if you do try it. Let me know if you post or would want to email it to me.

  5. This is a great exercise to play with and spark some creativity. I'm going to have to try it!

  6. Hi Dora...thanks for visiting me here. I am glad that you found this technique interesting, it is a lot of fun. I have enjoyed being a fan of your facebook page, you have some nice things you are doing.