Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ink sticks and crazy art

I have been busy with things that are not blog-worthy... you know, the usual bread baking, cake making (story for another day), background painting, and sloshing paint/ink on new materials. None of this is very interesting to anyone but me.

Until last night.

My "new" ink stick sits in my workroom silently taunting me about money foolishly spent... about skills I will never learn... about clutter and waste. To put the silent harping to rest, I found instructions for making ink with an ink stick. (Where would we be without YouTube?)

Improvising, but carefully following the instructions, I ended up with a small amount of black ink. Unfortunately, I was so caught up in the process that I hadn't given any thought to the fact that after the grinding, there should be using! So, I grabbed the closest paper on my table - some small coin envelopes, painted and spritzed. It didn't matter what color they were painted and spritzed, they were there and I used them.

I recently found a tree scene that I liked, so I went to work with fresh ink and brush to duplicate (loosely) that image. The blues that were on the Kraft paper envelopes turned into a suitable background. My first try went pretty well, so I kept going till the ink was gone.

Tree #1

By the third envelope, the fresh ink was just a ring around the grinding dish, so I pulled out my dip pen and bottled ink to fill in and darken some edges.

Tree #3

While I was on a roll, I did an image transfer of the tree scene on an old book page. It wasn't completely successful, which made it a candidate for "Try anything!" I painted the page, with three different colors. Next came the ink dropper dropping drops of blue ink.... then mists of water, tilt, tilt. More ink drops, more water, more tilting. Finally... it was time to dream up a dinner, so I left the piece to dry on the table.

A couple of hours later, I decided to show my faithful (because he speaks truth whether it hurts or not) critic what I had done. He liked the coin envelopes. He looked at the book page... asked about the transfer process and then said, "Of course, all I can see is the face."

What? What face? I grabbed the paper from his hand. Sure enough... there is a face! With the flurry of dropping, and misting, and tilting it is absolutely incredible to see a face appear!

Which goes to show, you just can't take yourself to seriously. I'm keeping this piece. I'll add my verse and show you when it's finished. Crazy, but I'm thinking I love it.

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18


Nancy said...

well you are amazing....I have never heard of ink sticks but obviously it'a a fun art form.....I read with amazement your experiment and wow the final page is awesome....Isn't it amazing how we think we are heading in one direction only to find that our art has a mind of its own.....

I can't wait to see more of your "ink stick" work.....

C. B. Nottingham said...

I would frame them, especially the 3rd one. Trees are my favorite art forms and think these are wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Nice beard on that face!

- Laura

Tammy said...

My fav....the third tree. Love the words in the background!! Beautiful work, Barb! :D