Today’s watercolor experiment actually began a couple of days ago. I prepared my 12″x9″ paper with the usual transparent red iron oxide, using a rough fiber brush. The de Kooning influence prompted a mustard yellow glaze to cover the rust. Then I went a little crazy with orange and blue random traces. I let the entire mess dry thoroughly.
I was so unhappy with the results that I took my watercolor pad to the sink, turned on the tap to soak the paper. Most of the paint came off. I scrubbed the rest. What remained was a fabric-like surface. I put it away and let it sit until it was bone dry.
When I returned to work on this piece, the ambiguous patterns suggested eyes. Perhaps it was my state of mind, but there really were eyes everywhere. There were one or two other biomorphic shapes, but eyes dominated.
I consider this the third in my ‘Pink’ series (see Pink – de Kooning-inspired, Pink No. 2), which revisit my thoughts about my older brother Michael who is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal. This blog originally was dedicated to the work I did to discover my relationship with him, as he was unknown and unknowable to me (see posts from January through December 2013). The last family visit I had with him (with my mother, now deceased, and my younger brother) was so disappointing that it put more of a distance between Mike and me (if that is possible). You can read about this in my post called The Visit. [Note that there may be some triggers in this post. I intended no disrespect but I was heartbroken and angry at our reception even though the results were not unexpected. With each visit to see Mike I always hoped against hope that he would show some glimmer of recognition. It was not to be.]