Brazen Edwards loves the spontaneity of watercolour so much that she almost works exclusively on a surface that repels the water allowing the imagery to evolve for as long as she pleases. In a departure from the traditional surface of paper, she first encountered the product Yupo early in her career and began experimenting with the material and techniques to achieve the effects of traditional watercolour on this non-absorbent surface. She was able to apply her extensive knowledge of traditional watercolour and adapted her technique allowing a mastery with such a challenging surface.
Brazen prefers to lay in colour and subject matter without marring the surface with pencil marks, which is harder to correct or eliminate on this surface so she doesn’t plan her paintings beforehand. Her ability to quickly sketch out her composition developed with her previous work in Sumi-e, where an emphasis is placed on the beauty of each individual stroke of the brush. The methodology of that art form is where the artist must learn to use ink freely with a controlled brush stroke and capture the essence of the subject in their ink paintings. To evoke a poetry of nature, brush painters create beautiful lines and forms with ink, but there is no forgiveness once a stroke is placed on the paper.
By adapting this knowledge to Yupo, she lays in the painting with her brush and is able to control the paint, which allows more freedom to arise which contributes to her feeling creative and spontaneous in her method of painting. With problem solving and managing colour and design from an intellectual viewpoint, she is able to lay in her value and works with the watercolour to achieve a composition that allows a strong sense of tone and colour to create the effects she desires. The process of developing the painting centers on the gradual evolution of the imagery, combined with the refinement of values. Working on Yupo allows Brazen the advantage of an immediate sense of that structure, because the values do not become lighter as the paint is absorbed into the paper, as in traditional watercolor so she is constantly adjusting her paint by manipulating it for the effect she wants. By concentrating on the overall composition she is able to add and subtract parts of the painting by lifting the watercolour easily but this can often backfire as any mistakes without careful consideration can ruin a piece in its entirety.