Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mark Making with Leaves

I have found that using leaves to make initial marks on paper or canvas  can be a magical process.  Over the years I have experimented with image making by using acrylic, watercolours and ink painted on to all kinds of leaves and then pressed to a surface. Sometimes the results are dynamic and detailed or the impression left can be lackluster requiring work on my part to be visually interesting.

I scrounge for leaves in the winter, and have wonderful friends who bring me bags of leaves from their gardens during the growing season.  I have found that freezing leaves allows me more play in the snowy winter months.  
My husband says we have no meat in our freezer as it is full of leaves....and he loves me still :)

I have experimented with applying pressure to get the paint to release and merge on the paper; rolling with a brayer, applying a paper-towel over the leaf and pressing gently with my fingers to fully weighting down the leaves overnight.   


The pictures below show an application of watercolour to leaves that I picked from our family farm in WA recently.  In this project, I applied a solid surface weight (acrylic sheet over the leaf and then plywood on top) overnight to let the paint seep into the paper and do its magic.......


Grape Leaves 

Watercolour wash applied to the vein side of the leaf

Grape leaf imprinted onto 
Arches 140 Lb. paper

Grape leaf imprinted onto 
Arches  140 Lb.  paper

Sometimes I cut the individual leaves out and use them in collage, other times I work the background to complete the piece.
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