Blue Planet 4
Friday, May 4th, 2012
Here we are at the end of both our week and the series, and you can see now the interesting secret of this particular mix of paints. Rather than floating to the top edges, the iridescent green paint sinks to the bottom and then the ultramarine settles in on top of it in a rather unsteady marriage. The blue is denser in the middle because it settles there as the day goes on, not because the green is on top. With this paper more than the black, the iridescent paint prevented the salt from bonding to the paper itself so the crystals just formed on top, and a little bit of rubbing pulled away both the salt and the blue paint it was adhered to, leaving us with a fascinating crackled surface at the center.
Like all the salt pieces, this one’s the most interesting if you pick it up and play with it in the sunlight. The blue paint is really very matte and opaque, so the cracks where the green shines through are especially interesting.
Blue Planet 4, salt and watercolor on Arches cover white paper.
Above you can see all the rich, subtle variations in color, from the edge-in fade to the sharp crackles where the salt and paint flaked away in the center. Below, the piece is safely tucked into its frame, so the remaining salt, well, remains.