Saturday, March 31, 2012

rain paintings

rain and gouache, march  18 & 25, 2012

A few weeks ago, we had rain the forecast, something that's been sparse in southern California this year. Instead of whining about being trapped indoors, I came up with the idea to paint with the rain. Although not a completely original idea (using rain to manipulate watercolors seems to be a semi-common child's rain day activity), I took a different approach on the process. The results are somewhat unpredictable due to things like wind and variable rain drop size, but I love the effects of the technique I utilized and it's incredibly fun to watch as the rain falls onto the paper, soaking the paper and diluting the pigments, watching them spread as the painting comes to life. 

I really love incorporating parts of my life in my art in both physical and ideologically ways, especially the nature that is part of my life. I do this in many ways - photography, collaging with all sorts of bits and pieces I encounter, placing items on surface and allowing the sun to create images, sculpting and creating little creatures inspired by nature and now rain. I love the never ending possibilities of art. I love how it causes me to think of things differently and also understand life around me much better. I was never as aware of raindrop sizes, how large drops are blown or collected from various surface like trees and overhangs as I was when I held my painting out into the rain. As I eagerly prepped my paintings in anticipation of the rain, the rain patterns suddenly seemed so much more sporadic and variable than when I am sitting inside trying to avoid the rain. The actual patterns that rain creates as it hits a surface seems so uneven when trying to patiently cover a full surface with rain drops. It gives the scientist part of my brain so much information in addition to making my artist brain happy. For me, it's a component of a very fulfilling life.

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