Monday, January 09, 2006

Experiments With Ink

The little art group I belong to--just three of us--meet once a month and share the work we're doing and demo new techniques and materials. "B" likes to know about and try everything. Just in case she ever has a need for "something". "A" just wants to know how to use the stuff she already owns. No buying of any new supplies this year. I just love art supplies.

I purchased a set of six acrylic inks about a year ago and was not sure what to do with them but the colors were pretty and they came in cute little bottles so---I bought them. A&B wanted to know how to use ink. I had read in Gabrielle's blog that she had used ink so asked her a few questions--and experimented. The above piece was made with the--***please note that I have descriptive issues and I am trying to be a better communicator but it's still early days****--- suction top of the ink bottle. The dropper. ( also known as the sucky thing) I filled it with ink and drew circles on the fabric which was on top of a plastic bag. Ink is permanent when dry. I used the dark blue--too much dark blue. If I did this again I would dilute the ink with some water first. Then I added some orange ink. It mixed and spread while it dried. I used dry fabric and things may or may not be improved with damp fabric. Could also be squirted with a spray bottle of water. Salt could also be sprinkled over the wet parts. See...lots to learn here.

Later, after it dried, I ironed the fabric. Some of the orange wasn't dry and got on the iron. Then because it all looked so dull I got out my bleach pen and drew circles on the darkest spots and waited 5 minutes. There are faint bleached areas. I could redo the bleach and hope for a better result and I may yet do that.

This second piece of fabric was layered under the still wet first piece in hopes of soaking up the ink puddled on the plastic. It did and didn't do what I imagined. I then drew the grid lines over the piece with black ink. Using the dropper with less ink. It looked best when fresh and still wet. I thought the piece lacked definition. While stuffing things in the trash, I noticed the cling wrap cardboard tube. Interesting plastic end pieces. So I got some white paint and dabbed it on the ends of the tube and stamped over the surface with these odd white circles. I like what's happening. The second piece has more variation of color/light blue and dark blue ink, tones of orange ink mixing with blue and the black and white over the top.

I may stamp some white over the first piece and see what happens. I may not.

There's lots of discussion on creativity on the posts. Finding meaning in your work, expressing ideas and that sort of thing. Art is something I do. Intuitive. Not much in the way of expressing what actually happens while I work. That lack of being able to communicate verbally. Oddly enough, when I show my pieces--people leave me notes. They will tell me how the "meaning" of the piece moved them--and then they tell me of the meaning they saw in my work. What they find in my work amazes me. They actually describe feelings I know I have had while making the piece. They also put themselves into the work-describing how it makes them feel, what it makes them remember. The important point here--I never try to make the piece say anything. I just make things. And I never throw anything I have made away. I have bits and pieces of things made years ago that are finally ready to become something. You just never know.

I guess if I had any advice for people wanting to "make art", it's don't try so hard. Make what you like. Look at books, magazines. Tear out pages of things you like. Read books. Write down the words or ideas that make you think, smile, laugh or cry. You're like a stone, rolling over impressions and ideas. Sometimes things stick. Even to a rolling stone.


Elle said...

I like your ink experiments! Lots of fun. I love trying new things out on the fabric. A part of me feels like a bad kid breaking all sorts of rules, LOL.

Deborah said...

I love the way you write, Joanne. The perfect balance of wisdom and humor and honesty -- and don't take yourself too seriously-ness.