Blue Columbine

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Blue Columbine
ink and resist on Japanese Unryu paper, mounted on canvas
24″ x 30″

Columbines are among the most beautiful spring flowers, with their delicate tendrils and lovely shape.

I had been exploring a number of new techniques, mixing different media and substrates to see how they would respond to each other. In this case, I adhered the unryu paper to a canvas and decided to use a variety of inks as my medium.

I particularly love the way the ink interacts with the unryu paper. It lends a natural beauty to the surface, as the unpredictable meanderings of the ink highlight the ridges, textures and imperfections in the paper.

I sought to achieve a contrast between the unfettered washes of color and the controlled shapes that make up the composition, but I had to find a way to corral the ink, to keep it from bleeding uncontrollably on the paper. I experimented with several resist approaches to achieve this, and I won’t reveal the one that worked, because it’s one of the secrets of this painting. But it worked beautifully.

Inside the elegant outlines, the ink is free to run and feather, and the transparent layers combine to create a stained-glass effect.