WABI-SABI – An Experiment and a Lesson


The experiment – I drew (I know I said I was done with orchids but …) these flowers using watercolor pencils on heavy weight, acid free paper – then I cut out the flowers and gessoed them onto 140 lb. cold pressed watercolor paper and watercolored the background using a lifting method (where I pressed off wet area of paint with a paper towel). I like the papier-mâché quality of the end result, and the soft colors. I am extremely pleased with how these turned out on the fly, with very little planning. They have a very Japanese/Chinese feel to me. You can see the crinkles left in the paper from pressing and the edges where I cut away the paper; this is a very wabi-sabi type of thing.

The lesson – this will be interest to any of you who may live in the South U.S. and battle ants – ants like to eat a certain kind of cheap kid’s watercolor paint that I like to “play with.” They are kind of waxy watercolors that are made by Crayola and other other companies, as well as the great neon watercolor I grossly overpaid for from Amazon.com.
Needless to stay, I threw out two watercolor kits consisting of these types of paints AND my bag of water soluble wax pastels (they practically melt in my hands here). I am thinking of replacing them with acrylics and chalk pastels when I buy my easel (which I plan to do soon, soon, soon).

P.S. I hate ants!




19 thoughts on “WABI-SABI – An Experiment and a Lesson

  1. Interesting that the weather changes your materials! We get ant invasions every year, but they stick to the kitchen (mostly). I remember as a child my mother kept all the sugary breakfast cereal in plastic bags because the ants loved them.
    Your flowers are very dreamy. (K)

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    1. Kerfe, I left a butterscotch candy in my handbag and the ants found it once! Ugh! They like sweet stuff. I wonder if there was some kind of sweet stuff in those paints I threw out?

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      1. It wouldn’t surprise me. Yeah, they really zero in. I can always get rid of the spring infestation with traps though it takes about a week. I’m sure the traps are full of sweet stuff too!


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