Rain Song

The rains announced their arrival by softly tapping on the metal awnings over the windows, like a tentative start to a song, one note at a time. Our mountains had dressed for the occasion with gray clouds looking like misty chiffon draped across their rocky shoulders.

We have a saying in the islands, “When the Heavens weep, the Earth lives.” Imagination lives too. With these cooler gray filled days, the melody of rain song and watching as the ocean breezes blow sheets of rain into undulating shapes that dance across the yard, my imagination begins its own dance with ideas.

Watercolor beginning

Watercolor beginning

One idea comes from the sense of place, here, in the islands, where nature’s creative journey is constant, punctuated by storm warnings, lava flows, and the occasional Tsunami alert. I begin my own creative journey exploring the idea of place, with watercolor, but after a few brush strokes it becomes apparent that the air is full of moisture, causing the paper to dry slowly, almost reluctantly. This calls for a plan B, (there should always be one), bring in acrylics.

While waiting for paint to dry between the applications of watercolor layers, I sort through carved linoleum tiles to be used later with the acrylics. Having a theme, or a story, (every painting has a story even if it is only in my head), helps me choose patterns and determine whether I need to carve any new tiles.

Acrylic step 1

Acrylic step 1

When the watercolor portion has completely dried, my next step is to apply a layer of matte medium. This is the most nerve wracking part as I have to be careful not to disturb or lift the transparent watercolor beneath. After a few deep breaths and keeping my fingers crossed, the painting is set aside over-night to dry.

Acrylic step 2

Acrylic step 2

With the morning comes a new melody. The rains have introduced sporadic percussive rhythms, charged with energy, heavier and faster with a few pauses as though between musical sets. My painting has dried so I put away my watercolor brushes and reach for the acrylics.

Acrylic step 3

Acrylic step 3

First, a stroke of acrylic color, next a flurry of activity involving scraping, lifting, spritzing of alcohol, more paint, more lifting, (this time with a linoleum tile leaving a design impression in its wake), and maybe some added scrubbing and scratching with an old plastic hair curler. Working in small sections because the paint dries faster and is permanent, this process, this dance, is repeated over and over.

Like the rain, there is a sporadic rhythm with a few pauses to let the paint dry, to take a step back and see where this journey is heading. Eventually I come to that point where I need to take a longer step back, so off I go to make myself a cup of tea and enjoy the music of a rainy day.

By the time I return to the painting with a fresh eye and make a few finishing adjustments, the night has gathered and the rain has faded away.  Tomorrow will begin a new painting, continuing the creative journey where ideas are like rain puddles waiting to be splashed in, tonight the brushes are stilled, and the only sounds left are the measured drips of water off the leaves and a cricket singing its lullaby into the darkness.

Life Waters

Life Waters

30 thoughts on “Rain Song

  1. Jodi says:

    Oh Haunani!!! I am blown away by this. First – your words are like a beautiful song – I was almost there with you. then the painting – your patience, talent, the process. Wow! I am in awe! This is so beautiful! I have no words. Just jaw dropped open in a deep pleasant sigh…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Myriam (Myr's Bytes) says:

    Beautiful painting Haunani :-)! And I love the way you weave your poetic description of the rain into your painting process… making them part of one another. I found the difference between your final and previous version interesting. The rising mist of water near the bottom of the painting in the penultimate version is gone in the final version. I liked the mist… but I do feel that the painting makes more sense without it. It makes me think of ocean water… most of the water stays grounded while only some rises into the air to create rain. I like that she stays grounded while her “spirit” connects with the larger universe… and that she holds the bowl at her heart. But that is just me seeing things into it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • artandmoondreams says:

      Thank you for your sweet words and thoughtful comment. I could just hug you for spotting the part that really had me mulling for quite a bit and your words helped put to bed that residue of self-doubt that still lingered. You ‘see things’ perfectly, and you make my heart sing that you did. Thank you so much for sharing with me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. rebecca says:

    Wow, what a beautiful painting and thanks for showing us the process….your writing is also eloquent and peaceful…I could feel the rain and pull to create and to be at peace. Just beautiful post, both the painting and the words.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. amaryllislog says:

    I’m just wandering through your blog in awe. You are so creative and your imagination appears endless. This painting is stunning and magical. I love seeing your process, reading your words and hearing the rain in the background. I love your work, its incredible.

    Liked by 1 person

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