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Creativity ~ chose a medium

Rooted Harpy 23 x 31 inches on 300lb. archival hot-pressed watercolor paper. Created with watercolor, ink, and some white acrylic.

This piece is now complete and I am starting the next in the series.

The completion ties in well with the continued conversation of my blog (lol..basically with myself) on the creative process. In the last blog, I stated I am inspired by nature and its intricacies. As a result, I desire to capture those intricacies in my art to share and communicate my perspective.

So after comes conducting those inspirations through a medium. Otherwise, they remain ideas that are easily lost in life. Again, what medium one chooses is based on the individual - wood, painting, fabric, metal - this list is truly endless and relates directly back to the individual.

So what do my choices of pencil, watercolor, and ink say about me? Honestly may need a psychiatrist for that but here are my reasonings:

  1. Pencil - I love forming an image with a pencil - give, take away, mold highlights, and darks. At this stage, I am creating the “bones”. If the “bones” are good - then drawing is good. I am going for a realistic approach.

  2. Lately, I have been working with graphite wash (pencil that is water-soluble). So after I sketch, I add water, and a new realm of creating is opened to me. From the bones, I begin to challenge/shake the “bones”. This is the beginning of my craziness.

  3. I then add watercolors slowly, experimentally, instinctively - without a real vision. I do have a vision of a color theme I want to explore (cool, warm, complimentary colors). I love how watercolors react to each other when they flow. Watercolors are transparent - so once they stain the paper, they are not removable. One can paint over with opaque paints, such as gouache and acrylic, but the results are not pleasing to me. I have begun to add white to areas that I want to soften the lines. Overall, watercolors are not forgiving.

  4. Then ink. I have always enjoyed drawing with pen & ink. Lately, I have been painting with it. Ink is the least forgiving of the mediums I use.

In part, I chose these mediums because they are unforgiving and often love the “mistakes”. I have explored various mediums and even more as a teacher. My favorites are oils, collage, and clay (besides the above). I believe it is because I can sculpt the image out of the process. As I created the Rooted/Harpy, I truly experienced all the thrills the mediums had to offer. I really worked off my instincts for this piece. However, I am beginning to go into the actual creation process and want to explore that in my next blog:)

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Carolyn S. Pio

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