Thursday, February 8, 2018

New Hobby and Endeavor

In December, I discovered a new 'art form'.

Ya'll it's SOOO FUN!

Alcohol inks.

My initial introduction to this fun medium was from Pinterest.  Utilizing Sharpie markers and alcohol, one can create AMAZING and unique works of abstract art on tile.  Simply color the tile with different colors of marker, add alcohol to 'blend the colors'. Swirl, smudge, tip, drag the alcohol and inks around on the tile then.....

Set...     It....      On.....       FIRE!!!!  

Amazing things happen when you do this!

(Not to mention who isn't mesmerized watching a flame?)

Unique patterns evolve as the alcohol burns off leaving unique and unusual patterns where the flame spreads.

Sharpie colored tile after being 'fired'.  Love how the colors simply merge and become their own design.  No 2 alike.
As I researched this new technique, I also realized that actual alcohol inks exist.


Then I began watching YouTube videos and tutorials on how to use this new-to-me art medium.

Let's just say..... it was a bit ADDICTIVE!!!

A trip to Michael's was less than productive as I accidentally boutght India Inks instead of Alcohol inks.  Not that the dye based India Inks aren't fun in their own right, but... they aren't the same thing.  They react and move differently on their given substrates.  Who knew, right?

Alcohol inks need to be used on non-porous substrates - like tile, glass, metal, etc. whereas India Inks and Acrylic tend to be used on porous - canvas, art paper, and the like.

You see, when using alcohol inks you want the ink to 'bloom'; expand and grow and move on it's own accord.  Plus when you 'combine' alcohol inks' on the surface of your chosen substrate, they don't 'mingle and mix' creating new colors like other mediums.  The alcohol in them actually 'reacts' and pushes the other ink out -- you then get a unique effect on 'both' colors instead of a brand new color.

Not to mention, when adding alcohol, it can 'take away' the colors to some degree depending on the substrate being utilized.

Fascinating I tell you.

I think that's one of the big draws for me.  It's 'organic' if you will.  It's a bit unpredictable and you don't HAVE to be a skilled artist to utilize this fabulous art medium to produce stunning works of art.

Albeit much of alcohol ink art is abstract - which I'm normally not a HUGE fan of, but in this medium???  I'm literally transfixed by them.  It's just a different quality and appeal.

After discovering this wonderful medium, I purchased a Piñata Exciter Pack (a set of alcohol inks sold by Piñata - a great way to 'test the waters' in this fun art form) to get me started on a new art journey.  Not long after, I was scouring the internet watching YouTube videos, joining Alcohol Ink Communities on-line and.... learning.

Tools of the trade include:  (Note:  You don't need all of these items, but they make working with the inks SO. MUCH. FUN!)  Alcohol Inks (obviously); Alcohol Ink markers; an air compressor (I'm using Techno's from the garage - yes, big; bulky; loud, but... it does the trick); straws; canned air; brushes; a hair dryer; a heat gun; alcohol; pipettes; sharpie markers; gel pens for outlining; photo paper; tiles; glass; yupo or other non porous paper; metallic card stock; felt; cotton balls; q-tips; and any other 'fun' thing that may cause amazing reactions in the alcohol ink as it moves on the substrate.

Fun drops of ink and alcohol - you can see the designs
that are made as the alcohol 'pushes away' the inks as it invades.

Initially I made 'coasters' by dropping the ink on tiles, adding alcohol to make 'circles'.  It was cool watching the alcohol and ink interact and move and develop.

I gave many away as gifts for Christmas.

Swirling the colors around, blending and colliding, then dabbing
with a cotton ball to make bubbles and dots.  A galaxy is born.

Then I began tilting and moving the tiles about to make the inks 'blend' and create swirls, sweeps, and swatches.  Or I used a cotton ball to 'dab' at the inks and alcohol as it mingled causing bubbles and dots to materialize out of the myriad of colors.

Combining drops of ink w/alcohol then adding fire -- what fun designs emerge.
I even inked some wine glasses.  What a beautiful gift this made for a
member of our community who is special to our family.

Eventually I discovered you can use canned air, a straw, or an air compressor to make flowers and cool abstract designs.

I think this is one of my favorite ways of using alcohol inks.

Orange flowers on tile.
'Orange Blossoms'
Abstract - moving the inks around and
adding small details with alcohol and brushes.
I was practicing making 'dots' and
squiggles on this piece.

It's relaxing and mesmerizing all at the same time.

A small piece of metallic card stock.
I simply used my canned air to 'move'
the inks along using blue and silver.
This piece has actually sold.

Not to mention  CRAZY ADDICTING!!!

I also discovered a fun style of printing off coloring pages and using them as my 'template' then adding unique dots, feathers, sweeps, and swirls in alcohol ink to make a unique, fun, whimsical piece of art.  Many people apparently liked this style as I sold 2 pieces the first day I posted them to facebook.  (These pieces are at the bottom of this post.)

SAY WHAT???  <Insert my face in shock and amazement here.>

As a result, I've decided to play my hand at selling the artwork I produce.

This piece was made w/just blue ink and a heat gun.
Very abstract.

Green ink on tile blown with heat gun.  Such an ethereal feel.

Various ink colors dropped.  Alcohol added.
Then fired.  More alcohol to get new effects.
More fire.  Amazing, unique results.

More tiles made w/Sharpies, alcohol, and fire.
Our girls want us to tile our bathroom with
my inked tiles.  A friend suggested I could
market one-of-a-kind tiles for that very purpose.
Who knows?  Maybe one day.

White flowers on a black tile.  

Colorful kitty.
Our girls LOVE this pretty little girl.

This blog post is a 'picture journey' of the evolution of my art.

It includes a spattering of the 'inkings' I've done.

Many of the pieces are available and are a demonstration of the styles of art I tend to 'ink'.

If you are interested in any pieces, reach out and let me know.

Also, follow my page to see what new techniques I learn and develop.  Our girls are encouraging me to 'start a website' for my art.  Who knows.  Maybe I'll do just that.  Keep an eye out for it.

I may also make some prints and notecards of some of my pieces.  Maybe 'series'.  Like 'flowers'; dancers; trees; etc.

It's so fun.  Join me on this artsy journey into alcohol inks.

Purple flower on pink background.
This was a 'mess-up' that I wiped giving the
pink background.  Then started over w/
purple and black for the flower.

Pink Explosion.

Playing w/red and gold
Flowers were fascinating to 'cultivate'.  I have a LONG way to go, but they are tons of fun to create.  You can make so many different kinds of floral designs.  Spikey; soft; bold; wispy - the possibilities seem endless.

Colors on black tile w/white ink
on top to make them 'pop'.
Only black w/a touch of green
for the stem.

I wanted to add 'definition' to this purple flower.
I think I liked it better as a more abstract version.
I like the softer, more rounded look of these purple flowers.

A 'spiky' flower.
This would make a pretty trivet.

More 'ethereal' type floral-like pieces.

Large purple and yellow blooms.
A bit softer edges here.

Probably my favorite flower to date.
I may frame this for our walls.
Soft, abstract flowers.
A challenge from the girls to make
Valentine flowers for their daddy. :-)

Black eyed susans or sunflowers.
I wish I had done a background to this piece
before I started the flowers.  It would have
given it a more 'finished' appeal'.

More 'wispy' looking flowers.  This was one of the
first successful pieces like this.

My favorite multi-flower piece.
So vibrate yet a bit ethereal.
Florals on a tile - this will be a home decor piece that has already been spoken for.
This is possibly one of y favorite pieces that showcases so many different techniques.
Plus it's just so colorful and fun.

One of my personal favorites in terms of abstract art.
More abstract. What do you see?
Beauty and the Beast?
A parrot?

A peacock b/c Charity loves them and wants to make one.
Another attempt. I like this one better.

My 'whimsical pieces based off of printed picture templates.

A whimsical tree - 2/2 so far in a series.  There may be more.
A darling little elephant.
'Bubbles Make Me Happy'
This little guy sold the day I posted him.

I may make more 'critter characters' as I found him so fun to make and he was quite popular.  Plus I had a 'hinted' request made for specific animals.  <smile>

Finally - my Dancer Series.  One has already sold; a request has been made for notecards of all 4; and the suggestion has been made to make prints to sell at a slightly lesser cost.

Hmmmm..... the potential is astonishing.

'Wild Dancer'
'Gentle Dancer'

'Butterfly Dancer'

'Bubble Dancer'
This little lady will be hanging in a precious little girl's bedroom once sealed
as she too sold the first day posted.
 I hope you'll continue to visit my blog to see what new creations I 'ink' and to follow my journey in this fun new endeavor I call a hobby.

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