Painting: Alchohol Inks
Artwork Copyright © Jane Marion
I had the best art teacher as I went through school (Vivian Thompson). She was always supportive of me and helped fuel my passion for art. As a shy introvert, sketching and writing provided a lot of solace in the cold corridors of the University. I continued to experiment with oils and acrylics after I graduated. I fell in love with impressionism – especially the Group of 7, J.M.Turner, and Van Gogh. I’d lose days in my paintings but was always unhappy with them. When I became a mother, arts and crafts became a joy to share with my daughter. In 2016, I randomly picked up a starter kit of Ranger alcohol inks during a semi-regular trip to the craft store. We did it together as a family, and found it incredibly enjoyable. I then became completely obsessed. Fluid art is so different from oils, watercolours or acrylic. You can’t leave it alone or it dries immediately, but you can also return to it and reactivate the ink many times, or even just completely erase the non-porous papers like Nara and Yupo.There is a mindfulness to not being as incredibly attached to the outcome as I usually found myself to be with oils, and I particularly love letting the journey of the ink take shape. It feels relational to me.
As I learned more about the inks, and how different brands and colours move, along with how different blending substances and surfaces impacted the process, I grew more and more focused on trying different techniques. At first I started mainly landscape or dreamscapes as they are sometimes called, eventually moved into greater abstraction. I also started learning how to make my own ink from ancient recipes, natural dyes and pigments. Recently, I became excited about moving the art into different forms – like coasters and other ceramics. While art has always been therapeutic for me, it absolutely carried me through this pandemic. It provided time to practice and play. I learned to work with resin which is still a great challenge. I am a Ranger retailer, and am available for commissions and workshops.
I am fond of Iris Murdoch’s expression about the contemplation of art and nature as, ‘unselfing,” for how well it conveys the mindfulness of process. I am truly honoured to be a part of the Pinawa Art Gallery and this very special place I am so glad to call home once again.
“Beauty is the convenient and traditional name of something which art and nature share, and which gives a fairly clear sense to the idea of quality of experience and change of consciousness. I am looking out of my window in an anxious and resentful state of mind, oblivious of my surroundings, brooding perhaps on some damage done to my prestige. Then suddenly I observe a hovering kestrel. In a moment everything is altered. The brooding self with its hurt vanity has disappeared. There is nothing now but kestrel. And when I return to thinking of the other matter it seems less important.”
You can see more of my work at midnightink.ca