Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Northern lights for the new year!

I have our Jeanette of Illustrated Life to thank for the most, albeit coldest, fun I've had all year, all five days of it! Remember my Norwegian coastal voyage was in December, so that doesn't count! Jeanette's method of painting with ice crystals seemed so much fun, I had to try it. The weather here has been frigid, so the timing was right. I experimented with a few colors and then hit upon indigo and phthalo green, the frozen effects of which reminded me of... northern lights! Dancing around outside at 6am, in my pajamas, on two subsequent 17F mornings, I swashed water on paper and flung paints! And shivered, but hardly noticed, in my delight! Some results were better than others, but I think all of the following look northern lightish---don't you?Northern lights, swirls
This one is more purely wet on wet. The ice formed very little for some reason:
Northern lights, spires
The greens were too dark here, but I loved the crystalline swirls:
Northern lights, crystalline
Northern lights, green cross

Northern lights, cloudy moonlight
I'm not sure why this one granulated instead of freezing, but that's one of the fun things about this method---it is highly unpredictable!
Northern lights, dusky
Thank you so much, Jeanette, for sharing this method! It's the quintessential 'creating art out of water' technique!


Gesa Helms said...

wow... very much agree: ideal subject matter and great examples!

my field lines experiments didn't lead to desired effect but i'm also collecting ice crystals with black ink to develop one a subject matter comes along.

a glorious new year to you all!
and: thank you, jeanette, for great inspiration :)

vivien said...

these are amazing and the technique works so well for the subject

I have to have a go with this technique!

Capt Elaine Magliacane said...

So are these now dry (and warm)... I guess I'm wondering if the effect remains... when the paper warms again.
I think these are very cool looking... but I can't see me painting outside in the cold... no not me... no way LOL

Judybec said...

I tried doing this last year and had no success what-so-ever! yours are beautiful! -- I think I'll try again -- 17 degrees here tonight!!!

Jeanette said...

These are gorgeous Laura! Yes, the northern lights fit beautifully into this technique and the Norwegian landscape too.

Its almost like batik painting in the last image - another technique I will be experimenting later this year.

I have a series in my head but no freezing weather to assist me. I know I should be happy its warmer but I'm anxious to get on and 'do'.

We'll all have to have a little frozen exhibition at this rate! :)

Laureline said...

Elaine, that's a great question. Yes, THESE are now dry and warm, but I put my first one (and it was GOOD!) on the scanner too soon and it melted. On the scanner. Oops. Cue the glass cleaner and rags---indigo paint is VERY staining.
I had to do lots of trial and error but here's the deal: leave the painting outside for an hour, at least, until the paint is thoroughly frozen and set. Then bring it in and let it dry. You may have to sponge off excess, melting paint. Or not. Then, it's all ready for the scanner!

sue said...

They're amazing, aren't they! I love them. I agree that you hit on the perfect color combination to describe what you told us about the Northern Lights, Laura.

Sarah Wimperis said...

These are ace! I love the northern lighterlyness and the suggestion of cold cold frozen landscape below, beautiful and very like their subject.
I so love watercolour for all that haphazard suprising beauty!

Sarah Wimperis said...

actually my favorite is the wet on wet one!

Lindsay said...

Thanks Jeanette and Laura for showing what is possible! Now I have to try this....freezing weather here too! Now that's using all available tools!

marlyat2 said...

I like these as well as the others--very northern lights-ish!

Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

How magical!

africantapestry said...

Lovely work Laura...you captured the auroras beautifully in your pajamas..!

Pam Johnson Brickell said...

Wonderful, Laura!! I'm inspired by your desire and the results!

caseytoussaint said...

These are gorgeous, Laura!

EWian said...

You captured the mood and the light beautifully.