Monday, June 13th, 2011
This is another of my salt-and-watercolor paintings, this time done in shades of violet. The image reminded me of particles in suspension in a liquid, for really no apparent reason other than the nerdiness of my brain. I really like the way the pigment in these watercolors move and flow as they dry, which to me adds to the image of particles slowly settling out of a suspension; the darker violet at the bottom where the paint pooled is like silt at the bottom of a solution.
For this painting, I first painted the purple wash and let it dry fully. Then I added spirals of ink with a purple pen, placed a chunk of plain rock salt on each one, and covered both with water using an eyedropper. The purple ink dissolved partially in the water, as did some of the paint, and the salt dissolved completely. When the piece was allowed to sit for a day, salt crystals formed on the paper as the water evaporated, the ink and paint adding color to the salt. I keep worrying one of these days my cats will climb high enough in my bookshelves to lick the salt water right off the paper before it can dry, but so far, so good.
This paper is somewhat absorbent, so the drops of water tend to spread a little, and sink in, and the crystals are fairly flat to the surface of the paper. I haven’t yet found a good frame for this size, but the embossing makes them look like they’re already matted, adding a bit of formality to the otherwise abstract piece.
In Suspension, 5.5″x4.25″, watercolor, pen and ink, and salt on watercolor paper, $199 with free shipping.
I admit I’ve rather given up on my scanner properly showing off the embossing on these little cards, so I took another photo that’s got more accurate color and sparkle.