Posts Tagged ‘hibiscus’

Hibiscus Green

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Hibiscus Green, abstract art by Amy Crook

Hibiscus Green, abstract art by Amy Crook

I bought this celadon green Crane & Co. cardstock at a stationery store a few years back, and I was curious to see where on the spectrum of blue to pink it would fall with the hibiscus tea. After swirling on an abstract pattern, the tea turned slightly purple, and in the very thin spots where it went bluer it faded into the green paper. I liked the pattern it made so much I called it done and scanned it.

I enjoyed the soothing abstract colors of this piece so much I made a computer wallpaper and iPhone wallpaper out of it. I’m really enjoying the wallpapers I make for myself, switching out every few days to something new, especially on my iPhone. Clearly, I’m easily amused.

Hibiscus Green, 6.375″x4.25″ hibiscus tea on paper.

It’s just a little larger than a standard 4″x6″ card, which means I haven’t found a frame for it, so the price is for the unframed work.

Categories: Abstract and Just Plain Weird, Daily Art, Free Wallpapers
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7 Seconds

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

7 Seconds, abstract art by Amy Crook

7 Seconds, abstract art by Amy Crook, $399

I can’t really explain the title of this painting, other than to say it suggested itself to me when I was contemplating what to name the file when I was scanning it. There are seven pools of salt, rather more distorted from perfect rounds than usual because the paper was already slightly warped by the wash of hibiscus tea before I made them.

This is one of my first pieces combining watercolor with tea, though I’ve since worked on several more. I really like the way the rich turquoise paint works with the softer green of the salt, and the muted blue-violet of the tea.

7 Seconds, 7″x5″ mixed media on paper, $399, framed, with free shipping.

Here you can see the initial wash drying — the lightest spots turned to blue almost immediately, leaving the original pink lingering in the pools of tea, though as you can see they, too, changed as they dried.

7 Seconds, work in progress, by Amy Crook

7 Seconds, work in progress, by Amy Crook

This photo gives away one of my cheater secrets — I use the knickknacks off my shelves to flatten out the pages when they get too warped. Though it’s far from perfect, that’s part of the point, the compromise between order and entropy, deliberation and natural randomness.

7 Seconds, work in progress by Amy Crook

7 Seconds, work in progress by Amy Crook

It was quite warm the day the salt water was drying, which created unusually delicate salt formations.

7 Seconds, detail 1, by Amy Crook

7 Seconds, detail 1, by Amy Crook

Some of those formations were washed away by the paint, turning instead into small crystals haloing the original salt pools.

7 Seconds, detail 2, by Amy Crook

7 Seconds, detail 2, by Amy Crook

This is definitely one of those paintings that looks much better once it’s framed. The black really makes the colors look richer and deeper, and helps showcase the harmony of the piece.

7 Seconds, framed art by Amy Crook

7 Seconds, framed art by Amy Crook, $399

Categories: Abstract and Just Plain Weird, Daily Art
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Hibiscus Blue 3

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Hibiscus Blue 3, abstract art by Amy Crook

Hibiscus Blue 3, abstract art by Amy Crook, $323

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.

HIbiscus Blue 3, work in progress by Amy Crook

HIbiscus Blue 3, work in progress by Amy Crook

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.

Hibiscus Blue 3, detail, by Amy Crook

Hibiscus Blue 3, detail, by Amy Crook

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.

Hibiscus Blue 3, framed art by Amy Crook

Hibiscus Blue 3, framed art by Amy Crook, $323

As a bonus, I made a free computer wallpaper and iPhone wallpaper of this piece just for the people who read all the way to the bottom. Enjoy!

Categories: Abstract and Just Plain Weird, Daily Art, Free Wallpapers, Series and Books
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Hibiscus Pink

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Hibiscus Pink, art by Amy Crook

Hibiscus Pink by Amy Crook, $323

If a paper doesn’t have the right pH to change the hibiscus tea to blue, it dries a rich, saturated pink with just a hint of violet undertones. The color layers on much more solidly than the blue, soaking into the paper to make it look almost dyed.

This is also the paper that makes gorgeous little flower-like shapes with the salt, which turned out very pale with the assortment of ink colors I chose for the piece. There’s 21 of them, in 3 very similar shades.

It’s a bit of a difficult piece for me to judge because I’m not a fan of pink, but I do think it’s a successful one. The rich color of the tea really permeates the paper, while the inks colored the salt very delicately, giving a good contrast between them.

Hibiscus Pink, 5″x7″mixed media on watercolor paper, $323, framed, with free shipping.

This detail shot shows the subtle raised texture of the salt crystals on the paper, and the sparkle at the center of each salt “flower”.”

Hibiscus Pink, detail, by Amy Crook

Hibiscus Pink, detail, by Amy Crook

When I was making the piece, I tried to make a sort of gradient, distributing the orange, red and pink circles. I always love the way the water droplets pick up the color and shine on the paper, a temporary moment of beauty in the process.

Hibiscus Pink, work in progress, by Amy Crook

Hibiscus Pink, work in progress, by Amy Crook

The paper on this piece is a little big for a standard 5″x7″ frame, so I might change it out for a matted one if it sells, but here you can get an idea of how it looks framed.

Hibiscus Pink, framed art by Amy Crook

Hibiscus Pink, framed, by Amy Crook, $323

Categories: Abstract and Just Plain Weird, Daily Art, Series and Books
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Hibiscus Blue 2

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Hibiscus Blue 2, art by Amy Crook

Hibiscus Blue 2, art by Amy Crook, $444

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.

Hibiscus Blue 2, framed art by Amy Crook

Hibiscus Blue 2, framed art by Amy Crook, $444

Categories: Abstract and Just Plain Weird, Daily Art, Series and Books
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Hibscus Blue 1

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Hibiscus Blue 1, art by Amy Crook

Hibiscus Blue 1 by Amy Crook, $323

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.

Hibiscus Blue 1, detail, by Amy Crook

Hibiscus Blue 1, detail, by Amy Crook

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.

Hibiscus Blue 1, framed art by Amy Crook

Hibiscus Blue 1, framed, by Amy Crook, $323

Categories: Abstract and Just Plain Weird, Daily Art, Series and Books
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