Sunday, 28 October 2007

Experimenting with the Pigment Bath

PIGMENT BATH EXPERIMENT and Resulting Artworks OCTOBER 27, 2007

An experiment I just invented yesterday (although most likely I will find out Art school have been doing it for years!) - often happens - I 'find' a new and exciting something that gets me buzzing with enthusiasm only to read about it later in some book or the other...haha keeps you from getting too big headed though!)

OK - the long version: I was painting some backgrounds ready for the nautilus shell I have been asked to paint - the backgrounds were black with a hint of blue for the ocean (their house decor is b&W). I needed some fun so squeezed big blobs of paint directly onto the paper before mixing and combining with a brush. Took a couple of prints to remove the excess but noticed my water jar was full of black swirling pigment and had one of those 'WHAT IF' moments.

Went something like...'Mmmm. WHAT IF I soak some watercolour paper sheets in that - would they pick up the pigment - would save wasting it..." So went through the cupboards and the only thing I could find was the dish tray (that you sit under the dish rack) Mine is A3 size if that makes any sense.

So cut the paper to fit and placed it in the tray. Poured the Black water on top, topped it off with some clean water and left it sitting on a bench in the outside studio area to soak for a bit. I LOVE playing and experimenting.

An AMAZING thing occurred. The sun was SO fierce that the water heated up and the paper partially dried in places and lifted from the pigment bath (as I am calling it). Re sunk it and it did the same thing over and over - the result of which is a beautiful artwork in its own right - looks like a pebbled beach. The second paper I did looks like a shallow rock pool. I was so excited when I saw how they were turning out that I have them both properly stretched on a heavy piece of board ready to see if they need to be worked on further.

The different shades of grey and black add real depth to each work. I am so excited to try more. They did not work so well if done inside - had to be out in the full sun - must be something about the water heating up and the paper drying in stages before being resunk to then dry in different places.

The first one especially is very nice - I can see the clear shape of a foetus along the bottom half. Not sure if I will do anything else with it or leave it as it is.

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