June 23, 2006

India Ink


I've been having a *Eureka!* kind of day in the studio and I'm here to tell you all about it. It's the PROCESS again, donchaknow? What fun! Since beginning the Bokusho series with India ink on rice paper, a problem-to-be-solved has been one of smearing ink when I try to adhere the squares to canvas. It's been a slow, cantankerous exercise where I finally just do it and hope the smears don't detract too much (my whole career of techniques is based on such hopes.)
Today's efforts were to use a thick gel applied with a knife so as to disturb the top layer of ink as little as possible (adhering the back with medium is no problem.) So on inspection when the gel is finally dry, I see that some squares have bled and some have not. Actually, I'm liking the bleed as it often involves the separating of the ink and reveals both ocher and blue along with the black. Ummmmm.... why do some bleed and some don't? Well, going into snoop mode, I recall that I took only one small bottle of ink with me to France and as time began to run short, I had to water down the bottle to make it stretch.
I noticed early on that the ink would sometimes show gold on the back of the paper, but I didn't realize that it was only the thin ink that did this. A ringer thrown in is that Raya loaned me a bottle of her ink to mix in with mine... didn't use much of it, but it may account for the blue I'm seeing in some of the squares. They've all been torn and mixed up so that it's impossible to recall when each was done. But from the detail pics you can tell that the squares are assorted at this point. Now, the trick will be to see how well I can control this phenomenon.

8 comments:

Linda said...

That's really neat -- this should be an interesting piece, too! I love your previous painting also -- it DOES say "beach"!
:-)

Jacie said...

Love the colors, texture, drips and bleeds! So interesting! I love reading about a persons process, the making of the art! Indigo bleeding through japanese rice paper and india ink, - it all sounds right to me!

Pat said...

I'm finding this very interesting, Karen! Are these the pieces you did in France, or new ones?

KJ said...

Appreciate all the comments... yes and no, Pat... I keep sorting through the old and new ones, some are ink, some are acrylic (no bleed there!) and all are an ongoing process. But the seed sprouted in France, for sure.

ggaleria said...

I have had some success with preventing ink (and charcoal) from smearing or bleeding by spraying the inked or charcoaled surface with a fixative made of 1 part distilled water and 1 part Liquitex gloss medium and varnish.

KJ said...

Thanks, that's worth a try. More to experiment with! KJ

amber said...

I absolutely love them very bold!

Anonymous said...

When you adhere the rice to the canvas you could wet the paper first then apply on the canvas and also you could try Chinese ink, after it drys the color will not come off. Good luck.