Saturday, 12 November 2011

A cup of tea always makes things better...

My Irish grandmother, Nana. Hannah by birth, Annie to her friends, she always maintained that a pot of tea was the cure for all things. In my last post I wrote about the recent trauma of having a cold mug of tea dumped unceremoniously over my journal/sketchbook. With the help of my lovely soulmate's sense of positiveness I was able to turn the disaster around. What I'm still trying to come to terms with, is that on top of all this, one of the pieces I was most devastated about, after drying, well, sort of... looked... a lot... well... better!!!


Obviously I don't have the "before" picture, but just let's say there were no smudges on either side of the picture...

We had spent the week camping early October in Goldstream Park (near Victoria) and it did more for my soul than anywhere has in a very long time. I sat by the fire most days sketching and writing or just staring into the flames. For this particular piece I had drawn the trees straight onto the paper with a fountain pen filled with black ink, and then went back in with a watercolour brush filled with water to bleed the lines, which created the effects on the trunks of the trees. While the paper was still wet, I would dip the nib of my fountain pen into the wet spot, which would suck the ink onto the paper, bleeding further as it went.


I would come back to this piece again and again. The leaves of the trees and bushes were painted using my Windsor and Newton watercolour set, and then enhanced with Pitt Brush pens. Staedtler Triplus Fineliners.  Gelly Plus 0.4 point pens by Monami Co. Ltd. (brought back to me from Hong Kong by my friend Janie) added details. Silver pens put the finishing touches to the leaves on the bushes. It's one of my favourite pieces in this sketchbook journal because of the memories it brings back of a very meaningful time and place.

And then the mug of tea hit...

Cold herbal tea with almond milk and blackberry honey poured into the pages of my sketchbook journal and through my sketches. On the left hand side of the double spread page it smudged the trunk and the dead tree beside it, bleeding ink and colour out of both sides of the trunk. 


On the right hand side it smudged the trunk and softened the smaller trees beside it. The end result was a suggestion of mist, signature of the West Coast of British Columbia... a distant memory of mountains...a will- o'-the-wisp perhaps... 


To finish of the piece I glued one of the bits of fungi that I had picked up and dried between the pages of my sketchbook journal. Somehow it seemed to belong now on this page, a wandering spirit of the forest.


 My grandmother was right in so many... a cup of tea always does make it better...


5 comments:

Julie (O-kami) said...

I think it is wonderful and not at all 'ruined' by that cuppa

Karen McLaughlin said...

Wet on wet! (Haven't tried it with tea!) Kinda like it!

Robin said...

I love mistakes that turn into the best thing that ever happened :)

Robin said...

Love the accidents that turn into the best thing that ever happened :)

Gina Lento said...

Very Nice!