Monday, May 14th, 2012
It’s been a while since I gave you a new moon for Monday, so I thought it was about time. I did the salt pools for this one in a variety of sizes, using the clear salt water I made so even the smallest droplet left some salt behind when it dried. I used some powdered silver watercolor I have on hand to create a lovely colorless sky this time, with halos around the biggest star and an outward-fading spiral for the moon.
The reason I talk about the process so much is that’s what I’m mostly thinking about as I work, trying to get the effect I want out of the materials I’m using. I thinned out the silver paint to a specific thickness for the outer two circles on the moon, wanting there to be a delineation between the moon itself and the light that shines from it the way there is with the stars. I went for one big spiral this time because it seemed to fit with the rest, even though the star field is more complicated than in some similar pieces.
I try not to overthink these decisions as I’m making them, because the pieces work best when they’re not too fussy, with swooping paint strokes and not-quite-random scatterings of salt.
Silver Moon, 6″x4″ salt and watercolor on Arches cover black paper.
Above, you can see the light reflecting off the silver paint where it’s most opaque, as well as highlighting the smaller, un-haloed stars in the black. Below, the piece is framed and sitting next to my trusty iPhone for scale.