Last week I shared with you my fascination with the subtle changes our south-central Texas landscapes undergo throughout the year. What had originally captivated me with the basic landscape was the neat, precise layering of the trees. The color is what changes throughout the year, but that row upon row of trees stays the same. The first four watercolor studies that I included in last week’s post did a fair job of capturing the changes of the colors, but I felt like I had missed that careful layering of the trees so I set the project aside until I could decide how to proceed.
In the intervening months while the project set off to the side waiting for re-birth or death, I had the encounter with a student about the tangle art that she was doing. I shared that encounter a few weeks ago. I mentioned in that earlier post that I was attracted to tangle art because it brought together the beauty of art with the precision of mathematics. I was stirred by the patterns and precision involved in tangle projects.
You are probably way ahead of my story and see where this is headed. It occurred to me one day that what had appealed to me with the Texas landscapes whizzing by my car window was the precision of the patterns and that was precisely what tangle art emphasized. Would it be possible to fuse tangle art with watercolor in a landscape? To experiment, I took one of the “four season” studies that I had done of “Summer” and went back over it with ink establishing the layers of trees. I also used powdered pastels, which offers such a huge array of hues, and added touches of color to correct and enhance the layers. The above was the result of that experiment.
I was excited about the results, but felt that there was more possible. I needed a new composition that would lend itself to a greater variety of patterns and converging lines. I did the following study to experiment with a new composition, and I think it is much stronger. I finished this piece completely with soft pastel, and I’m quite excited with it. I may still use watercolor for the large fields and soft pastel for the foliage and details.
Now that I’ve worked out the kinks, I’m excited to develop the composition into four larger pieces, probably about 9 x 12. I’ll share them with you when I get them done.