Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Adventures With Alcohol----------Ink

"Yellow Flower" alcohol ink on ceramic tile

Adventures With Alcohol----Ink.   I'll bet I had some of you at "alcohol"! 

About two weeks ago I had a conversation with fellow artist and Penwomen Wendy Harris about the need to change it up every now and then. To step away from our usual media and method of producing art and do some thing DIFFERENT.

Wendy currently has a show of abstractions at the Edgewood Gallery in Syracuse. These paintings, in a variety of acrylic-type paints on various surfaces were definitely a step away from her usual and she was wondering how they would be received by the people who were used to seeing her pastel landscapes. In my opinion the paintings are magnificent! And I believe they were well received.

But the point I am trying to make is that artists (my self included) from time to time need to step away from their comfort zone and try something new. When I was teaching, especially the children's classes, these experiments in different media seemed to happen organically. I seemed to always be able to adapt something from the classes to my own work. Now I need to make the effort to make the change.

Enter: the Alcohol Inks

A few weeks ago I has attended a demonstration by an artist using alcohol inks on ceramic tiles. The random mixing and separating of colors intrigued me. And the colors themselves are so intense. So I immediately went out and bought all the supplies needed with the intention of experimenting as soon as possible. It's funny how as soon as possible can be put off for a couple of weeks. At this time of the year I am gearing up for shows and sales in the Thousand Islands and Sackets Harbor vacation areas and it's hard to put away the tried and true images and media to make time to "play". The to-do list for Windy Hill Studio is always jam-packed in March and April. 

But after seeing Wendy's experiments with a new medium, I decided it was my turn to play around with something different. So over the weekend I set aside the to-do list and tried my hand at alcohol inks. The inks were dripped, dropped and blown with a straw and what ever happened, happened. Some were very interesting and others were --hmmm how shall I put it--"a lesson in what not to do". But hey, you just wash away the ink with rubbing alcohol and start over.

I photographed my favorites and am sharing them here. I'm hoping to have a little more time in the next few days to experiment some more and see what happens.

Who knows??? Maybe my piece for Penwomen's Painted Sounds will be done in Alcohol Inks! Somehow I'm seeing Bobbie's flowers and Mary's "Untangling Dark". Hmmmmmmmmm


  1. Joan,
    What a beautiful and intriguing site with images and posts. I love it, and to think another Pen Woman inspired you, too. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Thanks Nancy! I think we Penwomen inspire each other all the time, but only in an event like Painted Sounds do we let everyone know about it.

  3. Fun Joan! I ventured out a little bit this winter to try some new things although my "time" wasn't what I thought it'd be. Love these alcohol ink experiments you're doing. They do remind me of flowers and music!

    1. I was thinking of trying a music theme while I was doing these, definitely the BLUES!

  4. Joan, I don't know how you create so much beauty, but thank you. You truly are an inspiration to us all.