• Kaaren Poole

The Price of Focus

This little painting is sitting on an easel on my hall table and I pass it several times each day. I find it so cheerful - the subject and the colors. And as I passed it this morning, I thought "that's the price of focus."



I remembered all the fun I had creating this piece. The chipmunk is a pencil drawing tinted ever so slightly with a bit of colored pencil, and the white space is actually very lightly tinted with pale green watercolor. Here's how I created the background. I crumpled wet masa rice paper, uncrumpled it, and carefully glued it with PVA to a gessoed board. I then painted the rice paper with watercolor and, for the top layer added gelatos (pigment sticks). The gelatos are water soluble and I gently softened the first layer with water. I didn't soften the final layer so it looks a bit crisper in those areas. I love the colors of the gelatos!


I sprayed it with Krylon Workable Fixatif and then glued the chipmunk drawing in place. I sealed it with a few coats of acrylic brushable varnish then added the final details of the gold paste and iridescent dots.


So why is this the price of focus?


Late last year when I decided to focus on writing and illustrating my book "Milkweed Manor," I knew it would mean decisions every day - decisions to work on the book rather than on something else. So, as pleased as I am with progress on my book, I do miss - and sometimes quite a bit - doing this type of work. So sad that there isn't time enough to do it all!

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