Creativity Workshop: Hide and Seek Responses

In the February 2009 issue of Watercolor Artist, Chica Brunsvold challenged readers to play “Hide and Seek” with their watermedia paintings: “Bring true originality and spunk to your work by repainting a completed painting, or by adopting a spontaneous, non-objective approach with a new painting,” she said. “Rather than looking to the outside world for subjects, let images emerge from within the painting.”

It gives us great pleasure to announce that Jeanne Hyland of Santa Fe is the winner of the $100 gift certificate to North Light books for her painting, Poppies. Our runners up include Mary Lou Arnold, Sheila DeLaquil, Pearl O Taylor and Cida Smith. Congratulations our winners and all those who entered their paintings. Enjoy a gallery of the winning works and the stories behind the paintings (below) and don’t forget to enter your work to win the next Creativity Workshop. Click here to find out how.

Jeanne Hyland
This was just the right prescription for coming off a blocked stretch. I took some tubes of new colors to experiment with and poured, spattered, tilted and flung until I liked the overall design and evolving textures. After drying, I studied the patterns from multiple orientations. As I was settling in on one idea, I happened to look up and notice a small bunch of  orange silk poppies sitting on a shelf behind the sheet, and that shifted my focus in a new direction—it inspired multiple flower shapes emerging from the patterns. I quickly put a piece of tracing paper over the sheet and outlined obvious flower and leaf shapes I was seeing. I then set about making multiple layers/glazes of color to combine and simplify areas, define edges using the colors as I saw fit. Painting Poppies was a push/pull process of negative painting, finding and making shapes as needed; it created a stormy mood that would not have otherwise happened on a floral painting of bright red-orange poppies!

Mary Lou Arnold
I thoroughly identified with Chica Brunsvold’s paintings, and challenge in the February 2009 issue. Often, I’ll just play with my paint by washing and dropping in color (anything to keep my brushes wet), and then look for the images that emerge through the magic of the paint doing it’s own thing. Birds of Play evolved by randomly mingling color on the paper, letting it dry, and then using a masque pen to draw lines and squiggles. Then I wet the paper again, dropped in color, and moved the paper around to let the paint do its magic. Once I removed the masque, I discovered birds hiding among branches. This painting practically painted itself.

Sheila DeLaquil
The unpredictability of watermedia leads me to places I’ve never been before. I find it absolutely exciting not to know what’s coming next when I’m painting. For Sweet, I let the pigments and water do their “dance” with minimal direction from me. When working this way, sometimes it’s difficult to know when to stop. So, to avoid overworking a piece, I set it aside and start another. In the case of Sweet, the painting was completed in a single session.

Pearl O Taylor
I normally paint in a tight, fairly detailed way but I love to experiment with different techniques and ideas, so found this to be a lot of fun to do. Beneath the Surface started out as a new painting. I wet my paper thoroughly and with a sense of freedom from not worrying about composition or where I was going with it, I randomly blobbed paint, tilted the paper and let the paint  move where it wanted to go, then threw on a bit of coarse salt, a few drops of alcohol, plus a small amount of texture medium into the wet paint. When dry, and after studying the shapes on the paper, I expanded on what appeared to be a fish and plants.

Cida Smith
I enjoyed the Creativity Workshop “Hide and Seek” challenge in the February issue. I painted intuitively with watercolor, finding fish in the initial abstract start. After completing the fish, put in a textured transparent acrylic background and was disappointed with how it turned out. After reading the article, I decided to paint the background with an opaque lavender and outline the fish with a yellow green. The result was that the fish really popped in Feeding Friendsy!

Try It!
Send us your Creativity Workshop Activity for a chance to win your shot at the prize. Send a JPEG image (with a resolution of 72 dpi) of your watermedia painting to To see the latest Creativity Workshop Activities and a gallery of reader responses, click here.



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