True Kitchen Art

In the past, I fussed and fretted about doing my art in our kitchen. Sometimes I laughed at it; sometimes I cried over the mess it all made. At the time, though, I had no real choice. The only place to put my easel and paints was in the corner of our kitchen and dining area.

Thankfully I’m out of the kitchen now — when it comes to art. I still love to cook, so I do spend a good part of each day in our kitchen, but my mornings are spent here in my awesome art studio. Our “new home” isn’t quite as new now — it was in February 2020 that we first saw the house and made an offer on it — but we still love it.

I can’t begin to say how happy I am to have a dedicated art studio, and over the past year I’ve been on a bit of an “art shopping” spree. I like the fact that my art studio has almost anything and everything an artist could need. One exception is that set of Inktense pencils I’ve been wanting — and I really am going to purchase the set soon. And I don’t have a gelli plate, although I’ve been reading about how to create prints, and I’m looking forward to trying that at some point in the future.

Sure, there are lots of little things I don’t have, but those are mostly “specialty” art supplies. When it comes to the usual, oft-used materials for making art, trust me, I have a well-equipped studio.

Want to play with pastels? Oil pastels? Soft pastels? Conte sticks? Or would you prefer pastel pencils? I have them all.

Colored pencils more your thing? I have complete sets of both wax-based (Prismacolor Premier) and oil-based (Polychromos).

Acrylics, alcohol inks, watercolors, gansai, and water-soluble oils. I have them all. I have lots of brushes, lots of scissors and markers of every variety, and I’m getting a nice little collection of “implements” together — those handy little things like brayers, hole punchers, and other assorted “art tools”.

So… with so many things available in my art studio, it was odd this morning that I didn’t have quite what I needed. I actually had to go back to our kitchen to grab a couple of the supplies I wanted for this morning’s project.

This is what I call true “Kitchen Art”.

Good Morning — Alcohol Ink Abstract Art

It’s very bright and bold — the colors, of course, “fade out” a bit when photographed. I love this sunny yellow and the vivid green. A touch of black here and there helps set it all off, I think.

As I’m exploring abstract art and learning more about design principles, I’m having fun with my alcohol inks. I’m especially having fun by finding new — outlandish — methods of using them.

I’ll let you look at the ink painting again for a moment before I tell you how I created this piece. I’m calling it “Good Morning” because it was certainly a fun way to get my day off to a great start.

I used three colors of ink from my Pinata Ink Set:

  • Sunbright Yellow
  • Rainforest Green
  • Mantilla Black

Those inks, of course, were in my studio already, along with the Yupo paper I used, but I was missing two things, and that’s when I headed to the kitchen.

You’ve seen an alcohol ink abstract I made using hand sanitizer as a “base”. Well, just out of curiosity, I wanted to see what would happen if I used aloe vera gel. I keep some in the kitchen in case of burns — I am quite clumsy, you know — so I retrieved it and brought it to the studio. I brought something else, too.

Celery.

Well, not stalks of celery, but the root. Yesterday, you see, I’d made New England Clam Chowder. It’s one of my favorites on a winter day and with wind chills of 30 below, it was definitely a winter day. The chowder was delicious. I chopped up a bit of celery for it and then sliced off the root for re-growing. Have you ever tried it? It works. If you’re not familiar with how to re-grow your own celery, here’s all you need to know:

How to Re-Grow Celery

Now, that would have been that had I not — somewhere — seen a video of someone using celery root with paint to create different patterns.

Hey, why not?

Yes, I grabbed my celery root and brought it to my art studio.

I assembled all my inks, laid out my Yupo paper, and I went to work with my “kitchen art” experiment. I didn’t cover the entire sheet of Yupo paper with the gel. Instead I “designed” the project a little by making circular strokes with a palette knife as I spread the gel out. I was “mimicking” the shapes of the celery root somewhat.

Next I dropped in the rainforest green and allowed it to spread slightly. Keeping various design principles in mind — the harmony of distance and the harmony of angles — I added sunbright yellow. I completed the coloring by placing only a few tiny drops of mantilla black in strategic places.

Already I had an image I liked, but I wasn’t about to waste that celery root. I began pressing it into the colored gels, then picking it up and “stamping” it in other areas — still keeping design principles in mind.

What I have now is an interesting abstract with thick ink-colored aloe vera gel. It’s interesting because of the texture. Because it is thick, it hasn’t completely dried. It will probably take a little while for that to happen.

Will the image change as it dries? I can’t answer that — yet. Part of experimentation is finding answers to questions. I had to laugh at myself a bit. It seemed a little silly to be using celery in the art studio, but overall — at this point at least — I like the results I got.

Now, I’ll be raiding the refrigerator, going through my cooking utensils, and wondering what other things I might want to bring into the studio.

And you thought food was only for setting up still lifes! Actually, so did I, so I guess we’ve all learned something fun today. I hope you like my colorful abstract!

UPDATE: Yes, this abstract has now fully dried. The texture is still quite obvious, and the colors have remained true. It is probably the most stunning alcohol ink project I’ve done. It’s definitely the most interesting!

 

3 Comments

    1. Thanks! I really had fun with this crazy abstract, and I loved the way it turned out. The aloe vera gel resulted in a nice texture, plus I felt it was a little easier to manipulate the ink and make it do what I wanted. I’ve started doing tiles now, and I am having a LOT of fun with it. Be watching for future posts! 🙂

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