"A Grass Framed Looking Glass"
Subject: Canada Geese   Medium: Scratchboard and Coloured Ink   Size: 14" x 18"

The idea for this scratchboard originated with a 6” x 8” painting that was based on a photo my husband took. In the actual scene the water was a pale blue but I decided to paint it black. I thought this would work better with the warm colours and give a more striking contrast. Some time after starting this painting I became interested in the medium of scratchboard – scratchboard has a completely black ink surface that the artist scratches into with special tools to reveal a white clay layer beneath, and can be coloured with various mediums such as coloured inks. I quickly realized my goose composition would lend itself perfectly to this medium and started this larger version on sctratchboard. I had planned to colour the entire scene with inks but after I finished scratching I decided I liked the black and white appearance of the geese and the subtle detail in the feathers – which I thought might be lost if I added colour. That’s when I considered colouring only the grass. I realized this would be unusual, but thought it might work very well. To give me an idea of what it would look like, my husband took a photo of the finished black and white scratchboard and printed it. I then filled in the grass with colored pencils. I liked the effect and proceeded to add colored inks to the scratchboard. I left the geese alone except for the blade of grass on the neck of the right goose, which I colored green (along with its reflection). The still water and near perfect reflections brought to mind a mirror or ‘looking glass’. This and the grass around its edge inspired the title.
Heather  Soos