Friday, June 10th, 2011
My nerdity is showing with this piece — it looks just like I remember the view through the microscope in biology class years ago, mostly monochrome with the organic shapes against the liquid.
This time I was experimenting with putting the salt and ink on top of a dried wash of watercolor. First I painted the shape with the opaque periwinkle blue gouache, adding in a sprinkling of coarse Kosher salt for texture once it was partially dry. Once the wash had dried overnight, I brushed the salt off the painting, and then used a blue pen to put in the swirls (and sign it, once we were all done). I put a big chunk of salt on top of each swirl, and then used an eyedropper to add water over each spot.
The water didn’t stay as well as it usually does, flowing into the organic shapes you can see above. The salt and ink dissolved into the water, and then after 16 hours or so, the water evaporates, leaving behind the pool of ink and salt crystals which have grown right onto the paper, and are now a permanent part of the artwork. Also, it’s subtly sparkly, which I enjoy.
Microscopic, 5.5″x4.25″ watercolor, salt and ink on archival cardstock, $199, with free shipping.
I’m still working on finding frames for this size of piece, but the salt crystals that form on this paper tend to be smaller and less fragile, so there’s less concern about shipping it unframed.