Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bird on Blue

Last summer I painted this puppy outside 
on a beautiful day. 
I added some stenciling, which blobbed up
here and there. 
So, I wasn't so thrilled with it.
And it hibernated in the back of my mind and the back of my studio
for a whole year.
Inspiration finally struck. 
I love the technique in which 
Angela Cartwright extends her painting
outside the photographs in her book, 
Mixed Emulsions.
(see page 41)
In the photo above, 
I've adhered the image of the birds
to the canvas, and rubbed up most of the white paper paper on the front off. 
So the surface looks very textural and grungy. I then painted over the image, 
and painted the background white.
In the photo above, 
I am tweeking the stencil. 
Adding an outline with pencil,
and a wash of more paint.
Below you can see, 
I've written one of my most favorite poems in ink around the image.
Well, campers, Ranger Adirondack Inks 
bead up on top acrylic paint and NEVER dried.
I sprayed the surface with a sealer.
NOPE. No go. So I had to bag that idea. 
I didn't know it yet here:
I added dot stencils.
I ended up painting a thin white wash
over the words,
which got smeary but I like it. 
It looks like a hidden secret. 
Which in a way it is.
This poem is my soul's secret sanctuary.
In the photo below, 
you see how I've extended the branches 
past the image.  
What is the poem you ask?
It is by a 12th century Buddhist monk:
The wind whistles in the bamboo
and the bamboo dances. 
When the wind stops, 
the bamboo grows still.
A Silver bird 
flies over the autumn lake. 
When it has passed, 
the lake's surface
does not try 
to hold on to 
the image of the bird. 

Beautiful, is it not? I re-learn the lesson of this poem sometimes twice a day. teehee.
I am trying so hard to be an autumn lake. 
Care to join me?


  1. Wow ! Just beautiful, Susan. This one really has your soul in it. Wow.

    Trying to be the autumn lake. And if I can't, I will try for the Silver bird !
    Happy Thursday !

  2. This is definitely a awesome piece of creativity. Very beautiful,the poem as well.

  3. I really love that poem. And that painting looks really cool. I love what you do with mixing mediums and everything I've seen you work on ends up in a completely different place than I think it's going to when you start it, which I like. It's like every canvas is it's ever-changing story, and the end is always a pleasant surprise. Brava!

  4. love the way this ended up, and seeing the journey. sounds familiar :) and thanks for sharing the poem- love the image of the lake letting go.