Thrilled to have my Leaf Impressions Series featured on the Gallery Underground Blog (and at the Gallery Underground until Saturday, April 26!) Gallery Underground is showing a really cool exhibit this month, titled "Bodies of Work", where all the artists are showing a series or grouping of their work.
The nights are cooler, the sun sets earlier, the leaves are starting to change color.... And I start looking at leaves I want to paint! Really, as I am walking along, all of a sudden I look down and see leaf shapes and patterns, so I pick them up and make my watercolor monotype paintings that I like to call Leaf Impressions.
"Sycamore" which is printed from a HUGE Sycamore leaf, will be on exhibit at the Gallery Underground for the month of October.
I love painting these Leaf Impressions, because there is that unknown element.... the mystery and surprise of not quite knowing what the outcome will be. Here's a Painting Demo how I do it....
We had hardly hung the show in the Arlington Offices of SAIC when I got a nice email from the Venue Coordinator to say my painting, Gingko III had been sold. That's always a nice email to get. This is one of my "Leaf Impression" paintings. I start the process with a very wet sheet of watercolor paper, then apply paint to the leaves I have gathered. As I paint each one, I press it down into the wet paper. Once many leaves are on the paper, I paint over the whole sheet in a different "background" color. Then comes the hard part.... I have to let the whole thing dry overnight, without lifting the leaves to see what is happening on the paper. Once dry, I remove all the leaves and look at my image, some beautiful patterns have taken shape. Sometimes I will go back in and add more color, darken some leaves, put details on others. I apply more paint to the actual leaves and use them as stamps, pressing them into the paper and leaving behind vein lines and impressions. I have printed up sets of notecards from these paintings. They are available at Stifel & Capra, and at the gift shop at the American Horticultural Society at River Farm in Alexandria. Or you may order some here, just send me an email....A set of 8 is $14.00 plus postage.
I have been an artist all of my life. I can't help it. Drew on the walls in kindergarten, painted pictures in high school, went to Art School, worked as an art director, started painting again. And am loving it.