Tuesday, October 11th, 2011
Most of my salt pieces come together in an almost Zen-like way, with the long wait for the salt crystals to form and then a quick flurry of activity as I work with the results. This piece started out with the watercolor background, which took a long time to dry, giving the mixed paint time to separate out into its component colors in some places, while staying a murky purple-black in others. Pen and ink and salt came next, and then the jellyfish in their white gel pen currents swam in last.
It’s interesting how sometimes you can keep adding things to a piece until you ruin it, but other times you have to keep going until it gets past a certain point and turns itself around into something worthwhile. My friend Jeff (who paints wargaming miniatures) calls it “the ass point,” where the piece looks like total ass until you get it to a certain point, and then suddenly all its potential starts to shine through.
I find this point more intimidating than the blank page, since it represents a lot of lost work if it never gets past that point, but there’s a certain satisfaction to having pulled a piece past the ass point and turned it into something I’d want to admit I created.
Jellyfish Deeps, 5″x7″ mixed media on paper, nfs, (sold).
This one has a lot of detail that just doesn’t show up until you really look at it, from the colors glowing through the white gel pen to the strange salt pools and their range of crystal sizes and densities. You can see it in its frame, below, with my iPhone for size reference.