A week has passed since I had my cataracts removed from my right eye. The surgery took a total of ten minutes and I was back in the car within 5 minutes after surgery. Amazing! 50 years ago I would have been condemned to blindness. My new lens is almost crystal clear now and I will be fitted with new glasses in a few weeks. Unfortunately, my left eye is only in a pre-cataract condition and so I must wait for it to become a medical necessity before I can have a second lens inserted and then throw my glasses away.
On the day after the surgery I went to my usual Tuesday morning at the Art Center where nine of us gather weekly. I had promised to bring along some Yupo paper for them to try and so I had cut up a couple of large sheets of the light weight Yupo.
After passing out the sheets I was happy to see one of our group had quickly become fascinated by the reaction of watercolors to the slick plastic surface. Yupo is a polypropylene plastic; created for use by the people that make outdoor signs and posters. I think it was ten or more years ago that artists discovered it and some took it seriously. Slowly but surely the medium is gathering acceptance as a valid art form.
I love using it because of the unexpected movement of color across its surface. I use a spray mister to wet the areas before applying color and then I drop or brush the color into the water. Once I see a form emerging I use a brush to guide the color where I want it. Sometimes I will let the incomplete painting dry and then re-wet the areas I want to work on by changing a color or even removing a color. Being plastic, Yupo doesn't allow colors to penetrate and if I wanted to I could put the painting into the sink and wash it clean. I frequently use paper towels or sponges to remove or fade certain areas of the painting.
Our painting group meets again tomorrow and I'm going to bring the half dozen paintings I have completed in the past week. I really got enthused again when a friend showed some interest in Yupo and so I pulled out all of my sheets of blank Yupo and even one painting that I wasn't happy with and I went to work. Now I have two incomplete paintings drying in the 'studio' and five waiting to be sealed.
It's hard for me to be a 'serious' watercolorist; painting flowers, birds or coastal scenes. But I do try. Then, every once in awhile, some Yupo is discovered in my stack of blank papers and I will go wild with abstract forms and colors that satisfy my soul.
Yupo is not my only outlet for abstract art but it is the only one that is small enough for me to take along to our art group. All of my other paintings (acrylic) are larger than my workspace at the Art Center. I have one, done with oil pastels on a large piece of cardboard, that is 30"x48" and one, a blank piece of MDF and that is 40"x60". I would like to work even larger but the size of my 'studio' prohibits it. Maybe some day...
Here comes a thunderstorm. Lots of lightning and rain. Thank goodness it's a wet storm. The grasslands and forests here are dry as a bone and lightning is as bad as an arsonist...will the power stay on?