Rocks by a Creek

I am waiting for some paper to stretch, so I figured, what the hell, why not try’s something I’ve never tried before? My brother told me that in Art School he once has to go outside and draw a picture, but he wasn’t allowed to use any conventional tools. He had charcoal, and paper, and that was it. (And he couldn’t use the charcoal directly.) Her went outside and found one of those spikey balls that fall from sweet gum trees, smashed it up, rubbed charcoal on it, and used that as his pencil. I don’t know how that drawing came out, but I like the idea of trying to paint with tools I’ve never used before.

So, I grabbed one of my daughter’s inexpensive gessoed canvas boards. I know how awful it can be to paint on wood pulp paper because the watercolor pigment don’t absorb smoothly as they do on cotton… I assumed a gessoed canvas board would just be that, but worse.


I knew transparent watercolor wouldn’t behave on this board, but I didn’t expect it to run quite so much… it just flowed for days… in hindsight, of course it did.

What I didn’t expect was how prominent the gum Arabic binder would become. As I painted, it started to feel like I was painting in syrup. I needed to use the pigment with almost no water in order to get it to stay where I wanted, and I ended up feeling like resin or something… very weird.

Also, I expected the masking tape to seal the edges, like it does on paper, but that was completely wrong. Womp womp.

So this was not a painting I would want to hang up anywhere, but I love the idea of using something I’ve never tried to use before. It probably won’t make a great painting, but hopefully it’ll unlock a bit of creativity, and help me break out of a rut.

%d bloggers like this: