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TITLE:  The Sun Came Up….

This work is by Karen Smith

“The sun came up like gold through the trees and I felt like I was in heaven.”  This inspirational quote was written by Harriet Tubman describing her feelings when she crossed the Pennsylvania state line for the first time in her life to freedom from slavery. My goal was to capture her joy and elation by a sense of movement to her words and create an impression of sunlight through the trees.

Basically, I followed Reggie’s advised process. I initially created a design on layout paper. For the final work, I used 140 hot pressed 9 x 12 watercolor paper and I taped off the edges leaving the area designated for the background. I sprayed the entire area with water and applied a light wash of yellow and peach. After drying, I sponged on different watercolors of green from light to dark, splashed on some blue Bister ink with a stiff brush and even some Schminke gold powder, all hoping for a happy accident. After drying, I sprayed it with 3 coats of acrylic fixative. Then, I wrote the quote using Neugebauer letterforms, using Mitchell nibs and blue Bister ink.  Gilding the sun was next with 24 kt loose leaf gold and then finally, I painted in the sun’s rays and around the gilded sun with watercolor.

Harriet’s words really moved me. I’ve often enjoyed the beauty of sunlight through the trees but obviously not quite with the same intense passion as Harriet. Thank you, Reggie for showing me the tools and process needed to express my imagination on paper! I’m grateful.

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