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Golden Grove - a mixed media collage tutorial

Golden Grove
Cyndi Lavin, 2017

Whether you live near forest, desert, mountains, or water, trees hold an iconic place in our imagination.   People write poems about them, which is what inspired this particular piece.  I've included the text of the poem at the bottom of this post :-)

Materials + Tools
Pages of text torn from various books
Watercolor paper
Matte medium
Foam brushes
Spray bottle
Acrylic spray
Black India ink 
Acrylic paint colors:
Yellow ochre
Red oxide
Quinacridone nickel azo gold


1. Use matte medium on a foam brush to lay down your torn text pieces on the watercolor paper.  Don't overthink it.  Leave the top unsealed as much as possible.  

2. Use a foam brush or sponge to add diluted (with water) Yellow ochre over most of the surface.  Let it puddle a bit and sink in unevenly.

3. Add Red oxide next, and finish with Quinacridone gold, added with your fingers in just the spots you want.  Let it dry thoroughly.  Iron flat if needed.

4. Spritz the piece lightly with water.  Using a pipette, drip in your trees and add some extra branches where you want.  Let dry and spray with acrylic spray.


Spring and Fall
By Gerard Manley Hopkins

to a young child

Márgarét, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

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Copyright 2017 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. The tutorial only may be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.