Posts Tagged ‘hibiscus blue’
Monday, August 8th, 2011
In this installment of my Hibiscus Blue series, I decided to go fully monochromatic by using the hibiscus tea rather than water to create my salt pools. Other than the signature, there’s no ink or watercolor in this it all, only the various shades of indigo created by the tea and its chemical reaction to the paper.
When I added the tea to the salt, it was fascinating to watch the droplets of liquid turn from a clear pinkish ruby, to a dark red, then almost an opaque black before drying the deep indigo you see here. It took a long time for both the chemical reaction and for the tea to fully evaporate, but the product is completely unique.
One random thing I discovered when I was working on these pieces — mosquitoes apparently find hibiscus tea quite tasty. I had one that kept circling and landing on the art, drinking from the shallow pool of tea (rather than me, thankfully). Since I didn’t want a bug-print in the middle of my painting, I had to let it go, though I think it fell prey to one of my cats shortly after.
Hibiscus Blue 5, 5″x7″ salt and hibiscus tea on paper, $323, framed, with free shipping.
Something about the way the salt and tea reacted caused the salt pools to form as circles of low, flat crystals with no large central formation, which then tended to dissolve easily when further tea was added to the page, creating irregular shapes of iridescent sparkle on the page.
I think the simple black frame really sets off the organic, monochromatic shapes, giving structure to the abstract swirls of color. The color seems a bit more accurate here, too; my scanner tends to pick up the least bit of remaining pink in the tea that isn’t as visible to the naked eye — or at least not to my eyes.
Monday, August 1st, 2011
This fourth installment of my Hibiscus Blue series is even simpler than #2, with thin, sharp-edged indigo spirals swirling around the lighter blue salt circles. The cool, subdued colors let the lines themselves set the tone. The rhythm of this piece is quite playful, like raindrops in a puddle at the very start of a warm summer storm when only a dozen or so drops have hit.
Hibiscus Blue 4, 7″x5″ mixed media on watercolor paper, $444, framed, with free shipping.
The salt circles are very simple this time, no fancy formations, just a soft hint of blue with an echo of the original spiral at the center of each one. When it’s tucked into its simple black frame, you can really get a sense of the motion of the brush in every stroke and swirl.
Monday, July 25th, 2011
I wasn’t sure if this piece would be part of my Hibiscus Blue series or not until I started it, because I used an entirely different sort of paper. This is a thick watercolor postcard, which turned the rich pink of the tea into a gorgeous periwinkle blue that grew even darker where it pooled around the salt. The two unusual art materials reacted together to create gorgeous cornflower-like rosettes in the lighter places, while sparkling patterns of blue-dyed salt crystals add texture to the darker sections.
Hibiscus Blue 3, 4″x6″ hibiscus tea and salt on watercolor postcard, $323, framed, with free shipping.
Rather than my usual method of putting the liquid over the salt, this time I created a very wet wash of tea and then scattered the salt crystals onto the drying tea. You can see below how the tea stayed pink the longest where it was drawn into the salt, but at the same time it also turned bluest in those places where there was more salt.
This shot really captures the sparkle of the piece, not just in the places where the salt is thickest but also around the center of each flower.
It fits nicely in a simple black frame, ready to ship and hang in your home or office. It’s the perfect size to decorate your desk or a small bit of wall to which you’ve been wanting to add a surprising touch of beauty.
Monday, July 18th, 2011
This second installment in my Hibiscus Blue series is much simpler. I constrained myself to 13 ink spirals, which turned into 13 salt formations. The blue-black pen dyes the salt a very compatible color to the shade the hibiscus tea turns when painted onto this paper, so the whole painting has a very harmonious feel to it. The tea starts out a bright ruby-red, and then changes in color from anywhere to a soft lavender to a deep, rich blue, depending on the amount of tea on the page, among other things.
The whole painting gives the feeling of rain softly pattering onto a pool of blue water, as the concentric rings of color fade and interact between each set of circles.
Hibiscus Blue 2, 7″x5″ mixed media on paper, $444, framed, with free shipping.
Monday, July 11th, 2011
I can’t remember who it was that suggested I try out hibiscus tea after I started using regular old black tea on some of these works, but thank you!
It’s fascinating the way the rich, ruby red liquid turns blue when added to certain papers, which is apparently the natural anthocyanins reacting to the pH. I love how multiple layers gave me different shades of blue, and I combined this with the salt circles to create a harmonious whole.
I actually made 21 circles of salt on this page, 7 in each of 3 different shades of blue pen, but the 2 lighter blues turned nearly identical when mixed with the salt and water. I ended up dissolving one of the circles completely to create some visual space in the piece, which I then filled with layer upon layer of the hibiscus tea.
Each layer had to dry before I could work with it more, since it doesn’t stop developing color until it’s fully dry, so this piece took days to get from blank page to finished art.
Hibiscus Blue 1, 5″x7″ mixed media on paper, $323, framed, with free shipping.
Here you can see the sparkle that’s lost in the scanner, and the purple-blue color that the hibiscus tea stained the salt crystals.
The piece is safely tucked into its frame and ready to come hang on a wall, find a spot in a bookshelf or perhaps stand up on your desk at work.