Abstract imagery isn't my usual starting point when it comes to making art but several recent experiences have encouraged me to take a closer look. First, I took a design class from Kelly Hoernig and one of the class exercises was to cut out different shapes and arrange them into a painting layout. For some reason that was really hard! Static shapes really did nothing for me and I realized that the actual object informed my design choices more than I thought. Still, designing with shape intrigued me. The second experience was taking my first stained glass class. Choosing glass and placing the pattern pieces was more challenging than I thought! Again, there was that line/shape connection. Third - Carol Spohn's class came up in Art Play Date. Carol is a great watercolor/mixed media artist and she had some really interesting techniques for adding line & color in her paintings. And what is this charcoal business? Gotta try that!! Watching her play with lines within the design was really intriguing. Could I do something with that? Next came lots of time spent on Pinterest wasting time researching line & shape & color - oh my! So I pulled out some watercolor paper and tried the charcoal treatment on several. Got one that I liked and set it aside. The others are experiment surfaces. I drew on some lines and a circle, tossed on some paint (& salt), tossed on some more paint. Decided I didn't like using every color in the rainbow so moved into Paynes Grey. OK - this is harder than it looks!! More paint & more salt. And now most of the paper is really dark! Not what I was going for. Wait - I have bags of watercolor batik scraps! Skinny little colored strips torn & glued on might help. OK, bigger pieces might help too! Still needs more texture/pattern. Stencils to the rescue! A bit more shine/sparkle was needed. Pulled out my 1/4" double sided tape and placed one line in the empty space through the circle. Varigated leaf pulled in a bit more blue & copper with the gold. This definitely needs to be cropped to rebalance the weight though! Lessons learned??? Working this way is harder than it looks. Balancing line & color is not easy in the abstract as there are no recognizable objects to inform the viewer. Cropping is my friend. And I definitely want to do more!!!