Every time I mention alcohol ink, I find myself using words about having fun. It’s only natural, I guess, to feel a sense of enjoyment — and fun — when we have bright, bold colors spilling across the page. I will gladly go on record again in saying that alcohol inks are truly fun.
Yet at the same time I’m talking about fun, I’m also fussing about alcohol inks, and here’s why. While art should be enjoyable, having fun in itself isn’t the real purpose behind art… is it? That sounds a bit harsh, I know. What I’m getting at is that I can have fun with alcohol inks, I can enjoy playing with them, but in the end, that doesn’t necessarily lead to the creation of anything that would be called art.
I find alcohol ink to be a very creative medium, and as I learn more about design principles, I’m more and more intrigued by the possibilities I see with alcohol inks. I’m just not yet at the point where I can move beyond random colors across the page and something beautiful, creative, and meaningful. My ink works — should I call them paintings? — are just brightly colored pieces of paper with different shapes and designs, none of which I have consciously created.
That’s not entirely true, of course. In the past I have — on several occasions — attempted to create poppies. Here are two examples. While neither is very good, both illustrations represent possibilities. I have a sense that many beautiful things — things worthy of being called art — can be created with alcohol ink. I just haven’t yet figured out how.
I’d like to think that I’m getting closer to understanding what to do with alcohol inks. Now that I’m seeing abstract art in a new way and am feeling more comfortable in creating it, I seem to be “loosening up” in my thought processes as well as in my art. I’m more willing to accept the results of my ink work, more willing to make more conscious choices in how I apply the ink, and much more willing to step in to exercise some degree of control over the outcome.
Just as I did with my recent “intentional acrylic pouring” — red roses — I’m also exploring methods for creating more intentional images with my alcohol inks.
My first effort was a step in the right direction, but it didn’t go quite the way I’d hoped, as I attempted to create flowers, or, at least, something which vaguely resembled flowers.
A second attempt was a bit more promising.
At the very least, I can see the beginnings of flowers with the second illustration. I can see petals starting to form — underneath my careful manipulations — and I can appreciate the lovely intermingling colors, feeling good about how I’ve coaxed them here and there.
Can you see the flowers? Maybe I’m not quite there yet, but I’m discovering new ways to put alcohol ink on paper, new ways to move it about, new ways to blend colors and create imaginative designs. Maybe one day soon I really will have something that definitely resembles a flower. Or maybe not. I’m actually pleased with the direction my alcohol ink experiments are going. I may fuss about it, but I’m still having fun.