Friday, October 16, 2009

Marble Painting

One of the techniques we learned at Creative Art Journal class last night was called "marble painting." When I first saw this on the list of topics, I thought it had something to do with painting things to make them look like they were marblized (is that spelled right?), something that would involve drawing little veins of colour on a salmon pink or white/grey background. I could not have been more wrong! We actually painted pictures guessed it, marbles!

Our teacher, whose name is Toni Calderone, handed us all shoe box lids and instructed us in how to cut our paper to fit inside the lid. (She's very organized, probably because she teaches kids a lot so has to be totally prepared, and she either brings everything we need and/or gives us a list of supplies the week before.)

She laid out a variety of colours of acrylic paints (ratio 3:1 paint to water, the full concentrate would be too thick) and explained the technique - you scoop a couple of marbles up with a spoon and drop them into the show box lid and tip and shake the lid to make the marbles roll around and leave a trail of paint on your paper. It couldn't be simpler.

Here's a picture of my finished result. I haven't quite decided what to do with it. As you can see from the line in the photo, there is a top sheet and a bottom sheet of paper. When you peel the top away, you are left with a cleaner space in the centre, with the painted design acting as a border. She also showed us how to do this in reverse, so you have a white border and the colour framed in the centre. Although a couple of my marbles got loose and travelled under the top layer, so the plain white isn't so plain on my piece, which is not such a bad thing. There are no rules, that's what makes it so fun.

This last photo is a closeup of one of the swirls of colour within my painting, taken while the paint was still wet. It's like looking at ink blots - can you see the shape in the centre that (I think) looks like a butterfly's wing? I like this photo the best. By comparison, the finished painting doesn't look quite as exciting as the photo, now that the paint has dried. But that's okay.
We also used a hair dryer to dry the paint quicker, so we could transport our creations home safely. Of course, it didn't take us long to discover you could also move the wet paint around your page with the hot air and add to your design that way.

It was all so much fun! Like being a kid again and doing what you want with the paint, smooshing things around to see what effect you get. I know, I know, half the battle of being an artist is letting go, not listening to that inner critic, doing things spontaneously and without judgment. Not to worry, I'm learning!

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