WetWorks Explained

My quest for depth, color, texture, and a conceptual process that would allow me an organic live painting experience led me to create what I am calling THE WET WORKS PROCESS.

I start my Wet Works process by taping down a piece of bristol board paper as I decide what colors I want to use and what mood I want to evoke. The first brush strokes are large gestures made with clear water to start the flow and rhythm for the painting. Then I begin to add watercolor paint which starts to spread and bloom across the paper.

After I have created a strong watercolor foundation I feel the need to bring dimension and depth to the image. I begin to apply and sculpt metallic acrylic paint. Using brushes and jewelry design tools, I move and manipulate the paint as I build on the image. Then I pick up my camera with a tight macro lens and begin to survey the painting in detail. I look for special unique compositions that feel familiar, seduce and exude tension as well I gravitate towards and amplify symbols from nature, pop-culture and mythology.

The process is highly iterative and dynamic as I go back and forth between painting and seeing it through the camera lens. I work and photograph very small sections of the painting approximately an inch square. Moving and sculpting the acrylic paint, flooding sections with watercolors, removing liquids with q-tips and eyedroppers, changing the flow of the water on the paper and further sculpting elements the art work begins to develop into its own holistic universe. I create and capture fleeting moments in the life of these dynamic images while the painting is wet and the water is moving. I consider these moments to be when the painting is live. When the painting dries, the immediacy of art making process is gone however, is captured at very high resolution (23 megapixels.) 

I capture many images during a Wet Works session and after an intense review process one and only one image is selected from the series to represent that painting session. I work with a very high resolution printer and an archival process to expand the image or images (if the piece is a triptych) onto heavy watercolor paper. Each picture is raw and unedited. I go direct from capture to print. Each piece is one-of-a-kind, signed and authenticated by the accompanied original authenticated pentimento "genesis”. I only print and sell one from each Wet Works painting session. Call them monoprints or call them 1/1 each print comes with the original painting.


donna cohen wetworks