Posts Tagged ‘hibiscus’
Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
Fugitive dyes, migrating materials, slow-moving chemical reactions — sometimes art changes over time. What’s a girl to do?
Well, I just try to sit back and enjoy it, honestly. When the salt formations in Badlands (above) began to fade from pale pink to white, I did move it out of the sun (oops), and now I’ve been thinking of ways to sneak some pink back in. Which is hilarious, because I remember being all baffled by what to do with the pink salt in the first place, since pink is so not my color. How far we’ve come!
I will try to warn a buyer if I think a piece will change over time, so they don’t get disappointed, but sometimes it comes as a surprise. If you remember my series of hibsicus tea paintings, it’s been very illuminating to pull them out of their storage drawer and find that the color-changing reactions have continued to (very slowly) continue to change colors as time goes on. You can see how the tea has faded to a more subtle color in the whorls of Hibiscus Green below.
Mixing materials in wacky experiments also sometimes has long-term results. While the copper paint from these two little pots seems to have stayed where it was put, the salt in Midnight Rain (below) has meandered out to the edges of the iridescence and created a different — but to my mind no less appealing — set of shapes and colors.
All of these changes are really subtle, as you can see from the photos (not to mention the inherent dangers in color correcting with Photoshop). In a way, I see it as the art continuing merrily on its way without me, and giving me extra bonus results that I never expected.
What do you think, how would you feel if a piece of art you bought changed itself to something else, right before your eyes?
Friday, August 12th, 2011
Something about having painted the iridescent oils onto this watercolor postcard before gracing it with the hibiscus tea caused the tea to stop at a lovely violet mid-stage between the vibrant pink and soft blue of my other hibiscus pieces. I used salt to add some extra texture to the tea wash, but most of the texture comes from the peaks of dried oil paint.
This piece rides the edge of being busy, the harmonious color palette keeping it from being too random. I really like the way the paint shimmers in the light, but the areas of tea are a soft matte, which makes the paint seem to float above the background just a tiny bit.
Hibiscus Violet, 4″x6″ mixed media on watercolor postcard, $99, framed, with free shipping.
Here you can really see how the paint rises up from the page, and get a sense of the iridescent effect.
I’ve put it in a simple black frame, you can see how the colors change depending on the light.
Thursday, August 11th, 2011
I admit, I wanted to post both of these in the same week because they feel like different sides of the same coin to me. They use similar color schemes and techniques, but where Iridescence 2 is all soft glowing colors and indistinct shapes, Iridescence 3 is all sharp-edged spirals and visible brush strokes.
Even the haloes of complementary color around each salt pool are sharper and more distinct than in the previous piece, with more areas of pure white paper peeking through as a result. I’m not sure which of the two I prefer, though this is the one I’ve got out on display right now.
Iridescence 3, 7″x5″ mixed media on watercolor paper, $333, framed, with free shipping.
This is a closeup of the green salt pool in the lower left, so you can really see how the paint is layered in distinct circles with watercolor’s characteristic dark, sharp edges.
The bold black frame works really well with the blue-black and violet-black in the darkest, sharpest of the paint swirls, and protects the fragile salt crystals from damage.
Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
Going in the opposite direction of yesterday’s art, this one expands the color palette along the entire cool end of the spectrum. I used green, aqua, blue and violet pens for my salt circles. Then I supplemented it with a layer of hibiscus tea in its low-saturation periwinkle shades. After that I used watercolors in matching hues, the dark indigo-black and violet softened by swirls of complementary colors around each salt pool. Finally, I used a little bit of salt to add texture to a few of the darkest places, giving the whole piece a layered complexity.
I decided to continue naming them as a series after one of my favorite of the salt pieces, Iridescence, because they had the same quality of seeming as though they were reflective without anything shiny, other than the sparkling salt crystals.
Iridescence 2, 7″x5″ mixed media on paper, $333, framed, with free shipping.
You can see one of the wonderfully complex salt structures here, a little lopsided ziggurat of crystal formations saturated with ink and ever overdyed with paint. If you click on the image you can see it even bigger and really get a sense of the detail, though of course the actual circle is barely the size of a dime.
The piece looks beautiful safely tucked into its frame, the soft lines and cool colors offset by the simple black wood.
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.
Thursday, August 4th, 2011
I wasn’t sure what to do with these glowing green florets after I’d created them on the page, but after looking again at Goth Vines I decided to take a different tack with the same idea. The hibiscus tea I used for the flowers blurred out into softer shapes than I’d originally expected, but it went with the softness of the green florets. I used a the green pen on the vines as inhabits the salt circles, and then signed the piece with the same orange that decorates each blossom with a hint of pollen.
The pink trumpet-like flowers look a bit like morning glories to me, and so I couldn’t resist punning a bit with the title. Since this piece is so decorative, I also made an iPhone wallpaper and computer wallpaper out of it for you.
Vine Glory, 5″x7″ mixed media on watercolor paper, $333, framed, with free shipping.
I used the other side of this paper, which has a different texture, and the result was much softer salt formations, though I still got the haloing effect the crystals aren’t nearly so defined as in Snowflakes or Aglow.
I ended up having to remove the very bottom of this piece in order to make it fit in a frame, just the last, translucent 1/8″ or so where the ink was blurring anyway.
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.
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