Monday, February 29, 2016

Grand Canyon Suite

Not much to see tonight, although I've gotten a good bit of work done.  The drawing of the Grand Canyon is now transferred to the watercolor paper and the underpainting in place, so this piece is ready to begin background work.

On 300lb. Arches cold pressed paper, this painting is 12" x 16"
Having to work from a photo isn't any fun, so I'll probably make bits up here and there and certainly use colors of my own choosing.  However, I hope to learn how to handle this complex and intimidating subject in this painting.  Or, that I never, ever want to paint the place again!  We shall see.

My reference photo
It's always fun to begin a new painting because the possibilities are wide open- it could be a masterpiece, it could be the best thing I've ever painted.  It could also be lousy.  However, if I learn from it, it'll be worth the time.  I may whine about it, but in my heart I'll know it was good for me.

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Sunday, February 28, 2016

It's a Start

This afternoon, after a much-needed nap, I decided I had to do something to pull out of the stupor I've been in.  Looking around, I decided I could do a simple block print of some of the flowers in the lovely bouquet I received yesterday.  At first it was slow, but it didn't take long to get into the swing of the project.  That's usually how it works; I drag my feet and feel slow and stupid till I get going.  Then the miracle happens and it all begins to come back.

As I learn this genre, I am amazed at how different the same plate can look in different colors.
The muse of creativity is fickle, to my way of thinking.  Maybe it's me, I don't know.  However it works, I find that it's all a matter of balance.  Easier said than done for most of us.  Keeping my job, family and other commitments met is a tall order, leaving little time or energy to dedicate to artistic endeavors.  When I'm tired and feel pulled in too many directions, sometimes I question whether I'm wasting my time out here in the studio- I could be doing easier things.  So, why do I do it?
Something about the red and white combination really makes me happy.  

The truth is, I do it because something inside of me won't leave me alone.  When I consider throwing in the towel and letting everyday life take over completely, inside myself I know it wouldn't work.  Everywhere I look I see painting compositions, amazing color combinations or light that grabs me by the heart and I know it's just part of who I am.  So, today I added another link into the continuing chain that is the story of my creative journey.  Tomorrow I'll add another.  And today I'm happy about that.

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Riding the Rollercoaster

Do you ever notice that after you make a painting that you feel is not up to your standards or even a total flop that it's more difficult to begin again?  That's where I find myself these days.  After the disappointment of Along the Bosque I've been struggling to find any energy for the studio.  It doesn't help that I am getting fatigued from teaching such an intense course load at school, but working in the studio would help combat that.  Sometimes trying to be a painter is like riding a rollercoaster.
Beautiful, right?  Not happening today.  

An example of this happened today. Someone gave me some beautiful flowers and I could hardly wait to get them home and into the new silver pitcher.  I suppose I hoped they would inspire me to make some art with them.  I worked all afternoon on getting the tarnish off of the pitcher and then arranging the flowers.  When I sat down with my sketchpad and a pencil all I could feel was overwhelmed.  Sometimes my creative life is like that.  I figure most people's are.  For me, when a painting or creative endeavor goes right, I find myself filled with energy and anticipation for the next one.  However, when it doesn't go like I'd hoped, it takes time to climb back on my tall chair, scoot up to the desk and get back after it.  I'll get over it, but in the meantime I'm casting around, looking for a starting place.  And hopefully I'll find it soon.  

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Parker Webb- A Natural

Our youngest child, Parker Webb, sent some photos to me from college so I could see his latest work.  I love seeing what he makes when he gets absorbed in an art project.  It's been a long time since he's worked at any art as he's been living in South Africa for two years as a missionary.  The extra maturity has only added to his eye and ability, I think.  

Side view, this bust has been working its way out of Parker's system for a few weeks now, growing and changing.
Parker is the most naturally gifted artist I have ever met.  Most of us have to study hard to understand proportion, value and composition.  Not him.  He has instinctively understood these things since he was a small child.  I've loved having a front row seat to his creativity and still enjoy it.  I just think of myself as the duck that hatched a swan.  
My favorite view of this piece, it is strong with good lines. Parker has a deep love for the African people and wishes he could go back to stay.  Who knows, maybe someday he will. 
We live in a society and economy where it is difficult at best to make a living with our art.  I feel badly about that, because some people seem to have been born to make art. Parker is one of those people.  It flows out of him.  Who knows if he'll pursue an education or career in it, but in the long run, it's a great way to enrich his life, whatever he decides to do with himself.  
I don't know this man's name, but I'm sure it will be in Zulu, a language Parker loves to speak
In the meantime, I'll just keep watching from the sidelines and enjoying the show. I hope you do, too.

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Oooh, Shiny!

In a thrift store in a small town in Arizona last month, I came upon this pitcher.  It caught my eye as soon as I walked in the door, but I decided I didn't really need it.  It would make a great prop for paintings and the reflections would be so fun to do, but I didn't want to drop $20.00 on it. After wandering around the store for a little while, I left without the dang thing.
I keep toting it around the house making little still life arrangements with it.  

And... it wouldn't leave me alone.  I kicked myself for not getting it when I had the chance. I kept thinking about putting flowers in it or setting it on a bright textile and getting the reflections all the color would make and wishing I had gotten it when I had the chance.  Then the perfect thing happened.  My daughter told me she had to drive through the same little town and I suggested she stop and see if there was a silver pitcher right inside the door.  There was.  And I am already planning a painting with it.  And that is as close to making my own art as I've been for three days.  However, there is creative energy brewing beneath the surface and it feels good.

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Monday, February 22, 2016

In Which My Husband Makes Himself Very Popular at Home

We got the chance to go to the Amerind Museum on Valentines Day weekend to see our weaver friend, Porfirio Gutierrez.  Porfirio was a guest there, along with several Mata Ortiz potters. My husband inherited a Mexican textile from his father and Porfirio had asked us to bring it for him to see.  It is a poncho and in great condition and we wanted to know where it came from and how old it is.

This piece is 4 feet wide and about 7 feet long.  If you look closely, you can see the neck slit woven down the center to enable one to wear it. 
Porfirio told us it is from Central Mexico and probably from the 1960's, no dyes, just the natural wool colors and was tickled to get to look at it.  He said you don't see many of them anymore.  We love the piece and are happy to know more about it.   The highlight of being there was getting to see Porfirio's own weavings.  Not only does he make traditional patterns like his ancestors did, he makes amazing art pieces of his own.

The design is slightly different at each end. Although an original art piece, it also nods to the designs used by Gutierrez's ancestors.
From Teotitlan del Valle in Oaxaca, MX, the Gutierrez family use only plants and insects they harvest themselves to color their home-spun wool yarns.  He not only weaves, but works hard to keep the traditions of his family and region alive and in the public eye.  I feel like he is a natural fibers missionary and admire his work in all of its facets.

The camera has had a hard time getting the exact tone of the red.  Made from cochineal, a tiny bug that lives on cactus pods, the red dye is a unique color. 
When it was about time to leave, my husband saw me admiring a vibrant weaving and offered to purchase it for me as a joint Valentines Day/Anniversary gift.  Of course, I didn't say no.  I also didn't dance around and jump up and down till we got outside.  Much.

This is a bit dark, but closest to the real red of the piece
Dyed with indigo for the blue and cochineal for the vibrant, ruby red color, the simplicity of the design is stunning.  This piece is beautifully crafted by a master and something I will treasure all of my life.  If you'd like to learn more about the natural dye process or see the weaving studio of the Gutierrez family, you can start HERE. I would love for the world to know more about Porfirio and his family and the amazing weavings they produce.  Someday I am going to get a chance to visit them in Mexico and see it all in person.  Till then, I can look at and love my beautiful red rug.

Thanks for stopping by- Alice

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Art- Use Regularly For Relief

While searching for ideas for painting storms and turbulent skies I came across a storm scene by Turner that I had seen before but totally forgotten about.  Painted in 1842, this piece looks more modern than Romantic. The composition of it intrigues me because the darkest values would at first seem like the main players, at least until I look at the lightest section.  It's just right of center as though pointing out that there is light even when things look darkest- and if we just focus on that light instead of the swirling darkness around us, we will eventually come out into it.    

Snow Storm; Steam Boat off of a Harbour's Mouth, Turner
It correlated with a poem I have on my desk.  Our oldest son is working on his master's degree in Social Work and filling a position with the state Children Youth and Families Division as well.  When things are at their most difficult, he has learned to write poetry to give himself some emotional release. He says that self-expression within the strict limits poetic forms dictate helps him find relief. Recently, he wrote the following after a particularly trying case:

The storm rages:
       wind howling;
       thunder shaking the world;
       lightning pierces the darkness.

A figure approaches:
       leaning into the gale;
       taking one step at a time;
       the traveler perseveres.

Elsewhere others endure:
       surviving hopelessness;
       sorrow surrounding them;
       despair oversees their plight.

A shelter comes into view:
       radiating security;
       promising rest;
       comfort waits within.

The traveler seeks sanctuary:
       chest heaving;
       limbs trembling;
       the tempest rages without.

Yet others await rescue:
       breath slowing;
       shivers easing;
       the traveler steps into the night.

Being able to tap into the artistry within himself, I suspect he will be able to handle what life throws at him.  He has never been a visually oriented person, but his newly discovered need of words is an art form of its own.  It's an important lesson for me, too.  Creativity keeps me balanced and is essential in my life. And this week I am going to need that.  

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Happy Anniversary!

It's our 34th wedding anniversary today.  How did we get this old?  A friend asked me where the years went and I replied, "I think the children took them."  There is truth to this.  However, having all of those years spent on the children was a great investment.  They are pretty great people and we feel blessed in our family.
Brand new Mr. and Mrs. Webb.  We thought we were grownups.  Hahahaha!!!

Who knew so long ago that we'd be the parents of 6 kids and about 230 grandkids, producing art together like a pair of mad fiends and best friends to boot.  Tonight I go to bed content with life and the struggles and joys it has brought.  Oh yeah, and I go to bed with Mr. Webb, which is right where I want to be.

Thanks for stopping by! Mrs. Webb

Friday, February 19, 2016

Little Red Dog

One of the teachers I work with is Mr. Woodard.  He is a great guy and very good with the kids.  He's also an artist at heart. A few days ago I told him we would be doing prints in art class this week and gave him some supplies- just in case he wanted to make one, too. I wanted the kids to see it as more than just something for students to do and he didn't let me down!
Mr. Woodard's little red dog, a portrait of his beloved pet
Today, just as the 8th graders were coming into class, Mr. Woodard came in with his design.  The timing was perfect.  We made a print of his plate as a demonstration for the class to see how printmaking works.  When Mr. Woodard pulled the paper off of his plate, the students oohed and ahhed and immediately wanted to try it.  Several even stayed after school to make more.  And it was fun. And it is Friday.  And life is good.

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Simple Images

More fourth graders got a chance at printmaking today.  They did a great job and found this technique as much fun as I have.  It's pretty satisfying to draw out a simple design, print it up and get to see if your idea was worthwhile.  I enjoyed it as much as the kids did today.

A demo I did for the middle schoolers today
On a day like this one where I get home late and have little or no studio time, a little print like this has the potential to let me spend some creative energy and relax a bit before supper.  I may become a real printmaker yet.

Here are some of the pictures the kids did:

You know, the 7th graders might be a tough challenge, but the little guys make teaching art a good way to spend my days.  I'm going to survive.

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Painters of Utah's Canyons and Deserts

Of all the presents I've ever bought for myself, this book, Painters of Utah's Canyons and Deserts, by Donna Poulton and Vern Swanson, might be the ultimate one.  I must have been a very good girl lately to deserve it.  In fact, I know I have, because no ordinary behavior would merit such a treasure.  It came in the mail yesterday and I stayed up long past my bedtime trying to gobble it all up at once.   
Who could resist with a cover like this?  
The main daydream that keeps me motivated to go to work each day is being able to spend a whole summer in canyon country painting and seeing.  Why else would anyone teach school if it weren't for paid summers off?  It certainly isn't because 7th graders are fun to hang out with each day, you can take my word for it...  It's been one of those long days, does it show?  
Survival, Tropic Canyon, Utah
by Mary Clark Kimball Johnson
Not an inexpensive book, even used, I've saved up for and dreamed about this book for ages.  I'm not sure why I would plunk down 100.00 for art supplies but drag my feet over a $50.00 book, but I have been.  Now that I've had a chance to look at it, I can see it was worth as much as art supplies, if only for the inspiration.
Virgin River Flood Control
by Ranch Shipley Kimball

The first section of the book is historical prints and paintings of then-Utah Territory.  While that work is interesting and informative, the real part I wanted the book for is in the last two sections- it will touch on Maynard Dixon, Gunnar Widforss and Ed Mell's work, among many other canyon painters. For painting techniques, composition ideas, and color schemes, it's well worth the price.  For the joy it's put in my heart- priceless.  Too bad it weighs 240 pounds or I'd go soak in the tub with it!

Thanks for stopping by- Alice

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

One Thing Leads to Another

The Grand Canyon drawing is finished.  I think I nailed it. Now whether I can nail it in color remains to be seen.  It was fun to do once I got started and in the groove of it. It took serious concentration to keep myself oriented, but I like the feel of it.

Completed and ready to transfer to a painting surface.  I'm not going to lie, this one makes me nervous, but I'm going to give it a shot.
Once it was finished I was still in drawing mode, so started on a project I needed to get done for school.  The kids are starting a print-making section so I got a couple of examples done for a demonstration this afternoon.  Oh boy, I may have created a monster.  They got so excited after they saw the first print come up that it was all I could do to get them to practice their designs on paper before they started the plates.  

Styrofoam pieces with the designs ready to print
Having never really done much with print-making, I had no idea how fun it would be.  I am as excited as the students are about this unit.  What I assumed was kid stuff has turned out to be addictive and very fun.  

The grandkids would love this project
In case you want to play with this, here's what to do- On a piece of plain old styrofoam, you know, like your meat would come on from the grocery store, draw your design with a ball-point pen using good pressure to make a deep line down into the foam.  Everywhere you want to stay white, draw.  Everywhere you want to be colored, leave alone.
The 7th graders said this was sick, which is 7th grade-ese for cool.  
You can use printer's ink or acrylic paint.  If you don't have a roller/brayer to apply the ink to the foam, use a brush and paint it on in an even coat.  Place a piece of paper centered over the foam (ink side up) rub the back of the paper over the stamp till you can see it soaking up the ink, then pull them apart.  Ta da! You have a print.  

My favorite
I can hardly wait to see what the students come up with- there will be some fun ideas there.  

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Monday, February 15, 2016

Slight Changes Can Matter

Last year I painted a piece I called, Old Patches.  It is one of the pieces I've enjoyed doing the most- fun and of a subject that really pulls at me.  Then I tucked it away and forgot about it.  Today while compiling photos of paintings from the last two years, this one came onto the screen and I decided to get it out and take another look.

How it looked when I pulled it out to look
Watercolor paints tend to lighten as they dry, but this painting was really light.  It couldn't hurt to darken up a few areas, so I decided to beef it up in spots.  Increasing the value contrasts in the shadow areas and bringing up the color in the foreground would give it more impact.

Here's a detail of one spot where I increased the value.  While not a big change, I'm surprised at how much punch the changes give the painting.  Sometimes I just have to go back when my eyes aren't used to seeing something and give it another look.  I'm glad I did on this, it made a difference.
How it looks now.  Subtle changes, but important. 
This one won't go back in the finished file for awhile because it's keeping me company in the studio. Like an old friend, cozy and friendly.

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Drawing the Grand Canyon

For years I've admired the paintings of Gunnar Widforss, a watercolor painter who did the best Grand Canyon scenes ever, in my opinion.  His work is flawless and a lesson to me on shadow and light.  I love to sit and look at it and soak up his amazing instinct for his subject.  His paintings made the Grand Canyon, among other wild places, look easy to capture. I guess the sign of a real master is making one's craft look effortless. Widforss was a master.
The first Widforss painting I ever saw, I couldn't take my eyes off of it- I can see no re-worked passages, no muddy areas, no hesitation.  
 The first time I saw the Grand Canyon as an adult was two years ago.  We parked in the lot at the South Rim and strolled up to the edge. I was looking at my feet as we approached it so I could take it in all at once.  As I raised my eyes and looked, I burst into tears!  I had never seen anything so overwhelming or magnificent in my life.  I felt silly losing emotional control like that and couldn't look at the strangers around- what I was feeling was too private and sudden.  I've wondered about that reaction since then and have heard others say it hit them the same way. Experiencing something so much bigger than oneself sort of puts life into perspective, I guess.
Not only has Widforss captured a very complex scene, his color temperatures are fantastic.  The cool and warm tones together make this one of my favorite.

Of course, I wanted to paint it right away.  We toured for most of the day, then towards late afternoon I got my sketch kit out of the car and crawled on my belly to an edge and began to work.  I tried to work, I should say.  I couldn't do it.  I couldn't even get a line or shape to make sense on the page.  I tried to get the local color, but even that was beyond my skills.  Finally, packing up my bag, I gave up.  And took pictures.  Hundreds of them.
This is what I got as I sat on the edge of a rock and tried to draw what I saw. As you can see, I couldn't make sense of it.  So complex, the Grand Canyon has taken me some real processing to work up the nerve to try and put it on paper.
 At home, I tried to start a painting from a photo, but was quickly overwhelmed by it.  I zoomed in with my computer and started again.  No deal.  I've never tried to draw anything so complex in my life.  Since then, I've been looking at my photos and wondering how to understand this so I can draw it.  I think I finally came up with a solution.

Instead of getting lost in the hundreds of side canyons and gullies, I'm only drawing outside shapes of each section.  I figured if I can get the basic shapes blocked in, I can do this thing.  As I go, I've lightly sketched in a few reference points for each mountain with "l" or "s" marked in them to help me remember light and shadow areas.  It's working.  I have a couple of hours of drawing and figuring to go still, but for the first time it's making sense to my eye.  I might get this.

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Saturday, February 13, 2016

What I Learned- Along the Bosque

This painting has the name, Along the Bosque, but I'm also calling it finished.  It's time to move on.  I learned a very important lesson, one that I already knew, so I have no idea why I have to go over this again. Sometimes I'm one of those people who has to learn things 12 or 14 times before they stick.

With the hard reflections; I left it un-cropped to put the size of the piece into perspective.  
I usually love to use a resist or mask- it's fun and makes color layering much simpler.  Well, here is a place not to use it: in water reflections.  You'll get hard edges and if you're making soft reflections, it won't jell.  Seems like a no-brainer, huh.

Along the Bosque
Watercolor on paper
22" x 30" 
I went back in and used clean water to lift the hard edges as much as I could, then used the local color to blur where I had lifted.  It worked, but would have been best if I'd have left the mask off in the first place. So, after I'm not totally frustrated, I'll try this one again.  Okay, if I get over being frustrated, I'll try this one again.

Thanks for stopping by! Alice


Friday, February 12, 2016

Sick Day

One down-side of working in the germ factory, (aka elementary school) is that once in a while I catch the germs.  Maybe the germs caught me.  Whichever the case may be, school is no place for me right now.  The up-side is I can come out to the studio between naps and put a bit of work into my painting.
Reflections going over mask in the water area

I've been a bit nervous to start the water area, but after pondering on it a day or two feel ready.  I have a plan.  Whether it's a good plan or not remains to be seen.  And that's all I have to say about that.  Time for a nap.

Thanks for stopping by- Alice

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Distant Trees

The distant trees are done.  If I monkey with them anymore, they'll be overdone- believe me, I'm an expert at overdone.  
Compared to the Fluid paper used for the lower piece, the Arches is so much easier to get subtle effects with.   Notice the different lighting conditions between this photo and the one below- artificial light above and sunlight below.

Compared to days when I can just stay in the studio and paint for hours, working an hour or two after I get home from my school day feels so slow, but progress is progress.  I'll take what I can get.

Today's progress.  I keep having to swat my own impatient little hands away from taking the mask off; can't wait to see the tree shapes with it gone. 
I'm looking forward to painting the water area.  Tackling water is a fairly new thing for me, but the more you paint something, the better you understand how to do it, right?  

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Along the Bosque

The little test painting I did on the Fluid brand watercolor paper got me all cranked up to do it right.  Getting atmospheric perspective was tough to impossible on that paper, and I have to do it again.  I dug out a sheet of 140 lb. Arches paper to try it out on.  If I can pull it off this try, great, if I have to start again, I won't have wasted an expensive piece of paper.

The distant wooded shapes, first layer. This is a full sheet of Arches 140 lb. cold pressed paper. 
My favorite grey is a mixture of Pthalo Blue and Sepia.  When I want a distant, cool grey I use more blue in the mixture, and conversely, for a warm grey just increase the sepia.  If I want deep darks, use less water.  It seems to be a go-to mixture for me more and more.

Middle ground tree shapes- shaping up!  Sorry... 
As this painting goes along, I'm enjoying the muted colors I've chosen.  A similar palette to La Bella Durmiente, it seems to give a quiet sense to the scene.  After teaching a couple hundred kids all day, a sense of quiet is medicine to this frazzled lady's mind!

Thanks for stopping by- Alice

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Test Drive, Fluid Watercolor Paper, Part 2

As this painting progressed, it was clear that 1. You get what you pay for, and 2. The painter could have done a better job on this test drive.  She is duly chastened.  Be all that as it may, let's take a look at how it went. 
Laying down the first layer on the tree areas.  
 For paper that lets the paint sit on the surface, it sure doesn't allow much lifting when one gets the first layer too dark.  
The wash for the foreground was a bit dicey, darn it. 
The same thing happened on the water area as I tried to lay in a graduated wash that happened in the sky.  It just wouldn't go down smoothly.  Between the buckling and the strange absorption properties, the paint was just not having it.  However, after it dries, it smooths back down beautifully flat. 

The finished piece.  Meh- I'm going to have to try it again! 
The background tree area is too dark, but that's not the paper's fault.  Instead of planning to lay in the grey I wanted and then lift it out to the value I desired, I should have started much lighter and gone darker gradually.  It's a different way to think as I plan ahead when I use this paper.  

The paper pulled itself free of the bound edge as it got wet, causing it to be less of a watercolor block and more of a nuisance. 
As the paper got wet, the block began to pull itself apart.  The glue around the two edges released.  The next painting may be more difficult with the edges pulled up.  I may have to tape it.  For myself, I can work around the limitations of this paper as I use the block.  As a travel book it rates right smack in the middle of 'average' for quality.  As a studio paper, save your money and go for Arches.  It's worth more than double the price for its workability and strength.  

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Test Drive- Fluid Watercolor Paper, Part 1

The last time I was in my favorite art supply store I came across a new brand of watercolor paper blocks that I hadn't seen before.  Brand named, "Fluid," the red covers caught my eye right off the bat.  While in Albuquerque this week I purchased some to see how they are to paint on.

Fluid's covers are attractive enough to make you WANT one.  Or two.  
Considerably cheaper than other watercolor blocks, Fluid's paper is not as toothy as Arches.  However, it feels like better paper than is usually found in watercolor sketch books.  Arches watercolor blocks are sealed on all four sides to keep the paper from buckling as you paint.  Fluid's are bound top and bottom.

A pretty good shot of the tooth of the paper, it looks like travel sketchbook paper.  
The first thing I tried was how it would handle mask.  I put a bit down and let it dry.  It came up with no problems.  I love to use mask so this is great news for me.
The mask test.  It handles mask perfectly. 

Several of Fluid's blocks are sized long for landscapes, making them the perfect size to throw into a travel bag and go.  We spent time on the bird refuge this week, so I thought I'd give this paper a test drive on a scene I liked at the refuge.  It would involve layers, washes, mask and small details.

The initial drawing of my scene.  
It is smooth for drawing the layout lines onto.  I erased in several places to see how it would handle that.  It didn't pull up fibers as I erased and later when painting over these spots they didn't accept the paint differently- bonus. 

This photo is a great illustration of the way the paper buckles when it's wet.
When I put the first sky wash down, the paper immediately buckled.  Arches 140 pound blocks do buckle a bit when they are first wet in a wash, too, so this wasn't totally unexpected.  Just for the record, I get less buckling in my Moleskine travel watercolor book.  However, the paint didn't lay down smooth into the wet paper.  It tends to sit on the surface in a snit, not knowing or caring where it ends up.  

The paint, sitting on the paper and beginning to run into the drying areas, causing a cauliflower effect.
There is another thing worth mentioning about the absorbency of the paper.  As I mentioned above, it's not absorbent.  This can cause some great effects or terrible ones, depending on what you are after.  In my tree areas, it caused cauliflower effects but I liked them- they added texture.  

So far, as a studio paper, Fluid isn't up to par.  However, as a travel sketch paper, it's acceptable. Be sure to check back in tomorrow to see how the final piece turned out.  

Thanks for stopping by! Alice