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.