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When I imagined my Saint Anne I always saw it as mixed media. Neither drawing, nor painting, rather something in between. Something that would explore boundaries to give full rein to the surreal. That is why I am surprised by my final choice to do the drawing on paper, rather than canvas or a board. At first it did not occur to me that it is going to be an issue. Only when I started thinking about giving the drawing a wash of background color did I realize that I will not be able to use neither watercolor nor acrylic on the paper. It would curl and bubble up in no time.

I was devastated, because I really liked the final drawing. I kept thinking how I could resolve the issue, but did not have a clue what to do. I was looking and looking to no avail. I decided at the end to take a rest and come back to it.

An hour or two later I felt like venturing back and starting my thinking process anew. With a cup of cherry and rum flavored tea in hand I approached the table when something happened. The next thing I know I am running to grab some kitchen towels to clean up a spill on the drawing. By the time I returned the damage was done. And that is when I realized that I actually love the color the tea dried down to: a lovely bluish purple that provides a lovely warm shadow.

St Anne drawing_fullSo I went back to the kitchen and grabbed the teabag I used to make my tea. I put aside my fear of damaging the paper and boldly started packing on the color. I used the teabag much like a sponge, then pinching the sides together, as fine marker. I was imagining where I’d want the light to hit and the shadow to form and dabbed, dabbed, dabbed.  Before I knew it the drawing was transformed from a simple line drawing into the beginnings of a painting.

St Ann_drawing detailI’m especially happy with how Anne turned out at the end. I like how fragile and feminine she is. How the shadows play on her face and neck, and further enhance that femininity. Yet with the power drill in hand, as she is boldly shredding the cabbage to pieces she portrays the woman who can do it all.

Luckily the little accident has turned out to be a happy one. It transformed the drawing and gave me the guide to continue and many things to think about. However, one of the strangest things resulting from this is that Saint Anne now smells strongly of cherries and rum. Talk about mixed media!

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