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My latest set of museum quality prints have been made from my original, watercolor and wax resist painting. They just arrived from my printer in Seattle. My printer, Carl at Color1Photo, makes giclee reproductions using inks rather than water-based materials, on German etching paper. The prints just sing with color very true to my original work. I slept for 4 days while the prints were made and delivered.

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The watercolor, wax resist process is tricky, and the process has taught me a life lesson. Hot wax is painted on areas of delicate rice paper, where one does not want any further paint to be laid down. So, if you want white or light-filled areas, you have to protect them by coating them with the hot wax. The wax cools quickly, those areas are protected, and further layers of color are then painted on the rice paper. I have to remember where I want light, and cover it with the wax.

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The light on pottery vases, on windows, and on the freshly hung wash, is eventually revealed when the cooled wax is ironed away. In the end, the piece of art has to be ironed repeatedly between pieces of newsprint so the wax is removed from the rice paper. At last, after much ironing, the light is seen in stark contrast to the darks that were laid down after the lights.

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And what is my lesson? Well, I am in the biggest fight for my life with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. It looks grim, dark, colorless, and gray on many of my days. I have little strength. However, I have life and light in my heart, soul and mind that I don’t want stolen by the darks. What is my “hot wax” I use to protect the light in my life? I “protect” or save that light by carefully remembering goodness, beauty and where my hope is in my life. I keep the dark layers from covering the lights through prayer, making beautiful art, listening to restorative music, receiving get well cards, talking with friends and family who love me, making myself see “grace sightings” or good that happens THAT day and being thankful, and by reading God’s light-filled words of truth and hope, even on the darkest days. I save the light. And, really, the light saves me.

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5

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Here are a couple of pages from my art journal. On the right, you can see the scene, in Lucca, Italia, from which my painting is derived.