My journey as an artist did not begin with watercolor but with a strange and vibrant liquid called Alcohol Ink. Since June 4 2015, the day I first dripped ink onto tile, I've been creating art or planning art or thinking about creating art every single day! True to form, I threw myself into creating with inks for two years and eventually (in April 2017) I inked a field of poppies and a blazing sun. These two pieces led to a children's book, and then, in September of 2018, a full gallery show.
Fast forward to autumn, 2019. I still come to the table every day, but now my focus is with watercolors. Dipping brushes into pigments, making friends with them along the way, I am trying to go as far as possible in this precious time life has to offer. However, an increasing awareness was creeping into the bliss: I was chasing something yet unnamed.
Much as I enjoy the watercolor, I'd been having trouble capturing the heart of my art. Despite obvious enjoyment, growth, and successes, something was missing and had been replaced by a nebulous sense of separation.
Where was the thrill that I'd felt moving ink across ceramic tiles? My approach to inking was atypical, using forced air, centrifugal force, gravity, and even fire to move the ink, avoiding brushwork as much as possible. I missed the feeling that came from those earlier sessions with alcohol ink and one morning, staring at a blank page, it hit me! Who ever said I had to give up my process completely? NO ONE, that's who! The solution was easily within my grasp.... maybe my two skillsets could be mashed together.
The poppies seemed like the perfect place to begin. The first version had been painted with alcohol ink on tile, using fire to achieve the vibrant blooms. Of course, fire was out of the question on paper, but what about forced air? I'd created the original grasses and stems by blowing ink across the tile. Could I use this same exciting technique with watercolor? Would the colors hold their own? Would they even budge on the page? There was only one way to find out.