My art is literally created by water, and imbued with its dynamics of movement, fluidity and flow, through my “floating colors” art-making process.


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I begin by sprinkling thinned oil paints from a brush onto a tray filled with water.  The water is blended with carrageenan moss, a kind of seaweed, to make it more viscous.  Bronze powders in shades from pale gold to copper are mixed with the pigments.  Deeper colors are dropped inside lighter ones to create shades and shadows. 

As the colors slowly spread out on the water, they form pale circles beaded with gold, widening into ovals whose edges thread outward, veining together in darker filaments of line. As if magnified under a microscope lens, they echo the organic forms of nature.  

I lay paper onto this surface and transfer the floating image, then repeat the process many times, building up translucent layers of color and texture.

These floating colors will become the foundation for overlaid figurative drawing, with charcoal, pastel pencil, and oil crayon.

They seem like objects found in nature: shells on a beach, or patterns in sand, though filled with personal meaning. So they represent the aspect of creativity that’s natural, uncontrolled, unselfconscious … while my overlaid drawing represents its artistic duality: more conscious, willfully formed, cognizant.  

The organic patterns of the floating colors suggest the nerves and blood and bones of the body’s interior.

View a film clip of the floating colors process


The final drawings arise from a relationship between the floating colors and the figurative image.  Drawing becomes a process of revealing … revealing the images shaped by the water, which parallels the work of seeing, imaginatively, into the body, and revealing the images of movement, space, and structure found there.


Floating colors gallery: