Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Uses of Ink in an Assemblage

This blog is about ink and the many ways an artist will use that medium. Here are a few of the assemblages that will be hanging at the Hanson Scott Gallery in Seattle, which has an exotic-sounding address: 121 Prefontaine Place South. Ink winds up in most of my assemblages one way or another, and so I thought I'd share a few examples. 

In this first assemblage, titled "Breaking Away," mainly yellow ink is used, and that use is obviously for the background on the wood behind the artwork. I used polyurethane to seal it. There is also some black sumi ink in the paper on the lower right and bottom of the piece, but more watercolor than ink can be seen. The watercolor is on a small crinkled masa paper that I tore asunder for use in this assemblage. 

Breaking Away

This assemblage, "Song of the Bone Crickets," also uses ink on the backing wood. But there are two other black inks in this piece, too. First, you can see small dotted lines, which are drawn using a nib pen. And then there is a line of thick, delicate black ink scraped from a glass plate and re-adhered to to the handmade paper. Three inks in this one.

Song of the Bone Crickets

In "Leaf Poem," a larger piece, I used scraped ink again on either side of the assemblage board. The ink strips are fragile and difficult to maneuver into place, but it can be done if you're careful enough. The scrapings add texture, line, and repetition. By the way, the ink I use from the glass plate is re-purposed from printmaking.

Leaf Poem

 In "Municipal Circuitry," ink is again used on the background. But there are also trace amounts of ink on the assorted letterpress type that has been inserted into the wasp nest cells. There is an additional detail, added to the piece since I took this photo, which you can see when you visit Hanson Scott Gallery in Seattle.

Municipal Circuitry

Finally, in "Shell Game," I use several colors of ink on the backing board. Then, on the embossed handmade paper, I used India ink in the squares at the top and, with an inky swoosh, mimicked the snake skin beside it. There is also white gouache next to the small monotype, which also has ink circles and lines on it. I sometimes make organic colors from vegetation. Mushrooms could probably make an ink, but I put a dried one into the assemblage instead.

Shell Game

Be sure to visit the Hanson Scott Gallery to see my nine small assemblages in February and March (plus a couple large ones). Then later, more of the larger assemblages will be joining them, as well as some new work.

--Anita K. Boyle

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