I just finished this painting, Surface Tension. It’s watercolor and acrylic, 36″ x 24″.

You know how you can fill a glass to the brim and even add just a little bit more so the water seems to rise above that rim? And then just one drop too much brings on the spill?

We pay a lot of attention to the drama around us, and not enough to what’s bubbling up under the surface of that water in the glass. We’re very busy mopping up the spill instead of preventing it. That’s the metaphor at work here. Surface tension is a damned thin line.

Surface Tension

The watercolor wash fills most of the canvas, the metaphorical spill from the glass. It’s colorful and messy and a lot like life where boundaries are sometimes clear and more often blurred.

That 8″x8″ white square represents what’s rising up to the surface. In fact, that square has a zillion layers of a high gloss varnish (okay, more like 60 layers). I applied the varnish to encourage bubbles so if you look closely it appears as though they are coming up to the surface (and that any one of those bubbles could  cause the spill).

Here’s a detail of that section. I’ve darkened the exposure/upped the contrast so it’s easier to see on this white page:

Surface Tension Detail

This is my second painting that uses watercolor and acrylic in purposeful ways. I had no idea they would provide such a strong contrast and complement. More to come.