'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Tuesday 14 July 2009

Oh, Pollocks

You may remember that on the day the tree fell down I had intended to go out and slosh paint on paper – but it was too wet and windy. And the weather hasn’t got much better. Today it is sunny [so far] but still too windy to spread sheets of A2 out on the grass. So I put down a lot of plastic sheeting and newspaper in the conservatory  and sloshed inside.

I had been inspired by an article by Jacqueline Sullivan, in the Spring 2005 edition of ‘Cloth Paper Scissors’, about using transparent watercolours to make backgrounds. I have a lot of watercolours of different types but I have no idea if any of them are transparent. And most of them come in small tubes or cakes and don't really seem suitable for diluting in water and spreading liberally on paper, using plastic water bottles.

Then I had an ‘Aha’ moment. Brusho.

So I mixed up some yellow, brilliant red, ultramarine and grey [Brusho not running to colours with names like ‘alazarin crimson’ or ‘Payne's grey’] and sloshed them on as per the instructions. textured surfaces2

This is the result. Good, no?

Of course they are nowhere near as subtle as Sullivan’s – and I completely forgot her suggestions for adding stuff like salt, metallics, sand, charcoal, alcohol or plastic wrap. [She doesn’t mention washing up liquid but that does interesting things to wet paint, too – just make sure you get the colourless stuff. Unless you want green or yellow blobs, of course.]

I would add a couple of suggestions to Sullivan’s instructions.

First – after the first coIMG_7700uple of sheets I took up the newspaper and put down brown paper and wallpaper under the sheets I was painting. Paint was running all over the place and I didn’t want to waste it. 



Secondly, Sullivan suggests that you drain off paint into a drip tray. I put paper towels into the tray to slurp up the paint. Instant painted paper towels – a bit murky but not too bad. 


textured surfaces1It wasn’t just the paper that got painted. Do you know how difficult it is to photograph the soles of your feet? Of course sane people like my readers probably wouldn’t want to…


While I was sloshing and dribbling I had a go with some walnut ink, too. 

So what is all this Jackson Pollocking in aid of? Book pages of course.


IMG_7660 While I was in the conservatory I spotted this little fellow on the window sill. Not heavily textured but look at his spots!

And he is such a perfect 90 degree angle he is calling out to be tessellated, I think - or something clever with folded hand made paper – with frilly edges.

Must get a book of British moths, then perhaps I can work out what all these are!

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