This piece was a digital blind contour drawing of the profile of a bird sitting on a branch. But when it was done, it felt like it had so much energy, a lifting buoyancy, that I had to paint over it with something that likewise would have a lightness about it.
So I chose watercolor, because it felt right. Even digital watercolor is loose and uncontrollable if you use the right set up and brushes. I’ve done traditional watercolor before, and this was (for me) a leap of faith just like my traditional experiences… What an exercise in letting… things… go….
After studying it, I decided to suggest the dual image of a mountain outcropping as well as a bird in flight. And after doing multiple (and I mean MULTIPLE) gently overlapping layers of textures and patterns and geometric shapes, I think it has a majesty about it that felt thrilling to invent. The speed at which this happened startled me. It felt completely organic and playful. There was no pressure, no weight, no gravity in the making of this image. It was going to be what it was going to be. It was a leap of faith off the mountainside, trusting my wings could carry me.
And I really really needed to feel that experience!! What a joy doing this painting has been!
- Corey Johnston
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