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Pink- all I could first see of this left behind painting. My adult student Cindy had tried her hand at my “blur” approach, working wet on wet with watercolors and adding salt to the wet paint for texture. She saw no merit in the work for her, and invited me to create on it. Two points here-

First, the color… I have always disliked the color pink! This aversion goes back to my childhood. Upon discovering that a little girl was not allowed to marry her beloved and admired father, I decided to become a “tom boy” to be more like him. I Loved to dig in the dirt with him, play with caterpillars and find worms, and tagged along on his hikes outdoors, absorbing nature lure from the=is wise man. My Dad’s favorite color was blue- so guess what mine was? And all knew that pink was the opposite, and it was for Girls!

My dislike of pink stayed with me, as I grew up and learned about stereotyping of boys and girls, social pressures to conform to these stereotypes, and those who worked for equality between the sexes.

Now, for the reason to recycle a painting; I was a frugal artist! As I studied art at my university I had to be very careful with these expensive art materials. I learned to re- use squeezed out watercolor paints, paint on the back of old paintings, do all I could to get the most out of my supplies. Later I learned how to tear up old paintings for collages, and finally to re- paint over old watercolor paintings. A light and transparent image could easily be covered over with darker and more brilliant colors. A darker painting could be covered over with some gesso thinned with water or black ink. Textures could be pressed into wet paint creating random images. I fell in love with the textures and pictures that appeared by random, and found a whole new approach to painting through my frugality!

So one day as I was between paintings I took this pink and green painting and added more color to it after wetting it. Though I personally disliked the colors I thought why not- what do I have to lose?  I pressed the wet paint with plastic wrap to texture it.


To my eyes it was more interesting, but no composition suggested itself to me. So I wet it again and added some black ink in some areas. Again, I pressed plastic into the wet paint.


When dry it looked like this, and now I saw a landscape! I sketched the landscape in with white conte crayon; this allows me to see the lines on the dark areas, and to erase if it’s wrong. After the sketch I first began the development with white opaque ink.


White ink is a wonderful medium to work with in this type of approach; it can be applied opaque to cover or diluted with water to appear transparent. I marked in shoreline and trees where I saw them occurring, and added more color where needed.


The finished painting had color undertones that I would not have chosen myself. Through re-using another artist’s discarded work I created a watercolor where I discovered that I actually liked the color pink! Not that I would chose it for my clothing or home decorating,but it certainly is a lovely color in art and in nature! Pink seems to add the ethereal, the gentle edge of the rainbow I imagine to exist in Faerie-

I have continued to use the color pink since this painting, And I continue to recycle artwork!

Fairy Woods
watercolor on paper
11 x 14.5 inches
original available and print

Hope you get to have a creative day .