What a beautiful morning! The sun is out … the air is crisp, and from my studio window I watch people hurrying along the sidewalk,  listening to the sound of  fallen leaves crunching beneath their feet.

With coffee cup in hand I begin prepping canvases by laying down a coat of gesso.

While the canvases dry I make some preliminary sketches then choose the ones I want to use and transfer these to watercolor paper. I cut out the selected images and apply a light coat of gesso to the back of the watercolor paper and leave it to dry.

When the canvases have dried completely I apply either Golden ( soft or hard) molding paste with a large painting knife and put these aside to dry. This gives the canvas the look of aged plaster.

At this stage I may choose to apply the individual watercolor collage components using the molding paste or wait and use gel medium to glue them down after the molding paste has dried. The above picture shows the images applied with molding paste.

Now I am ready to apply acrylic paint to the background. First I lay in a light wash of color and let it dry before I begin adding additional layers of color, making sure  not to completely cover the first layer because I want each layer to show through.

While each background layer is drying I usually begin painting the collage elements using watercolor, acrylic, and inks.

Below is a photo of the under painting and it is at this point I can make any necessary adjustments to Kuan Yin’s face and begin adding stamping, text and more collage elements. In this painting/collage I have added the I Ching hexagram Tai which means harmony, great powers, and the flow of good things.

I Ching – Collage/Mixed Media – 8 X 10 inches on canvas

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