Rat Nouveau: Lemons

9 x 12 mixed media

This painting took me two days, and not in the way you’d think.

I have been wanting to try my painting-on-print-sealed-to-board technique in concert with Art Nouveau for awhile. It seemed like a natural—computers are really good at all the geometric design elements, so you do those, block out the space where you have your figure, print it all out, seal it to board, and go to work painting your figure and the visible bits of background.

And that is exactly what I did, although that description rather glosses over the day-and-a-half spent printing, sealing, swearing, tearing, slicing, X-acto wielding, re-printing, re-sealing, swearing, screaming, minor blood loss, reworking, swearing, and finally painting. Also there was swearing.

By the end of the first day, after a fair amount of wasted paper and two wasted boards, I had the process down, whereupon I realized that the sketch was complete crap and totally wrong and obviously the painting was about lemons not about salt and I went storming around the house yelling about how I should have been a medical test subject like Mom wanted.*

So this actually the fourth version, and the yellows did not scan quite as cleanly as I had hoped, but nevertheless, I have a proof of concept! Watercolor, colored pencil, acrylic and ink, all on hot-press watercolor paper, upon which I had printed the geometric linework. This did not make it as easy as I’d hoped—line weight is still an issue that you have to cope with, inking the rat, and I was not entirely successful on a few points, but it’s still a pretty good proof of concept, and perhaps I will get better if I do another one about limes or grapefruit or something.

Although this rat seems awfully pensive, and I’m not sure how pensive it is possible to be over limes. Grapefruit, certainly, grapefruit are inherently stoic that way, but limes are basically a happy-go-lucky fruit when you get right down to it.

Anyway! 9 x 12, mixed media on digital print on hotpress watercolor sealed to board. Original is for sale, of course, and prints are available in both sizes—drop a line, hit the website, you guys know the drill!

*This is not true. My mother wanted me to be an artist. For a long time I believed her when she said that it was because I had talent—now I’m mostly convinced that misery just loves company.

  • reply Anjela Bugher ,

    SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Art Nouveau rodents! :DDDDD I see no reason this rat can’t be pensive over citrus. I love it, and will absolutely be ordering a print and hoping for a series. 🙂

    • reply Oscelot ,

      Entertainingly, ratties can’t have citrus.. I don’t remember why, but citrus oil is toxic to them. With that in mind, I more see this rat contemplating doom. Still damn cute though, I want one for my kitchen.

      • reply Tarliman ,

        Good to see you doing Art Nouveau again. I very much liked the elemental mice. This has a lot of promise to it, as a linking piece between the Art Nouveau rodents and the Weird Fruit.

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