How do you do Fearless?

What would happen if I...... experiment...?

      Our first snow of the season had fallen. It was the sort of  beautiful day an artist has to spend being inspired and painting.

      An artist has choices in a winter wonderland. One can create artwork from inside a warm art studio or you can be like me an adventure seeker.

I choose to be fearless!     

      Recently an artist friend of mine suggested I try out a distinctive technique utilized by the talented water media artist Kathleen Conover, AWS whose signature technique includes a unique method of painting outdoors during the winter. Kathleen allows nature to be not just her inspiration, but to actually allow the environment to be a  partner in her painting process. 

Experimenting with an unorthodox process outside on a snowy day seemed to be a perfect opportunity to be fearless.

Some people build snowmen......

       I decided to  play with my materials in ways that I had never done before …This is my definition of being on an adventure. After looking at Kathleen's web site I decided it might be fun to test out some "snow-painting."
Painting with snow.

      My goal of  trying these new methods was to create a crystallized surface of paint/ice particles on my paper. In the case of Conover's work; the frozen paper is a stepping stone that becomes the basis for  her award winning paintings. 

Following are a few photos of my snowy experiments utilizing Conover’s fearlessly frigid methods. 

Go ahead ask yourself what would happen if I...?
      To begin, I took pieces of 140 lb watercolor paper outside, splashed water over the entire surface then dropped liquefied watercolor paint onto the wet paper.  Patiently, I waited for a miracle in paint and paper to visualize before my eyes.

      I tried adding a variety of different “condiments” to my wet paper to see what variations I could achieve as the paper and I froze. On one piece I threw salt ( lower left), another more snow ( upper left)  on the others I draped plastic wrap and a paper cut out stencil on to the freezing watercolor paint & paper( right side top & bottom). 
….after several glorious shivering hours of watching my paint, paper and accouterments turn into an ice sculpture. I decided to let nature take its course without my watchful eye. I left the “art” outside over night to give this technique a “scientific” testing period. 
Experiment = experience!
    The next morning, I investigated what was left of my experiment. What I found was an array of frozen papers that when brought inside thawed into an unappetizing abstract.
Out of the entire experiment only one piece kept the crystallized formations on the painted surface that I was aiming to achieve.  I was elated, a glimmer of fearless success! 
Ice crystals formed to create a feather pattern on my paper.
      Cold and covered in a colorful array of snow, I have come to the conclusion that some tests work out with glorious results and others produce a style or technique that are less desirable.
I may never get the urge to again stand outside with icicles of liquefied paint attached to my fingers, like Kathleen Conover. 

But on this day, I had fun experimenting. Thus the experience was priceless!

      Some days an artist just has to have fun! So go ahead, it's a new year - give it a try be fearless have a creative adventure in 2014 and develop a new way of painting. 

You won’t regret being a Fearless Artist. 

Have a happy & creative New Year.

See and learn more about Kathleen Conover's artwork at her web site:


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