Marbling

For a whole one rainy season in Palawan we did nothing but marbling. Every session took about three days – one day cook the size to age it, iron and mordant the cloths and paper. On the second day a long session marbling, hanging the wet prints on a cloth line. The third day was ironing the prints, picking out the faults, and painting into the prints with acrylics to highlight a feature. The main objective were canvas covers for our hand bound journals. With the leftover size we played around. Living in the sticks beyond the sticks, we had no access to fancy carrageen and proprietary paints. After a lot of frustrating experimenting we hit at a right combination of cassava starch size and industrial acrylics from rusting cans. Soon I found I could see clear images in our after-job doodlings, and I started developing them into proper paintings. We did over 50 sessions that year,  and every successful session we ended with 30-50 decent prints. A large body of work. We sold all our marbled journals, but I kept the best 50 paintings.

“Naga”

I did a fair bit of research into the history of marbling, but I have never found anyone who tried to develop it into representative art.

“Bagini”

Bagini were nasty creatures from Aboriginal mythology, so this particular marbling is an illustration in the Bestiary.

One more take on Bagini.

Butterlies are fragile ethereal creatures, but when you look at them in a close-up, they are a long way from classical fairy tales.

Another pissed off butterfly.

Pictures in this post are scans, about 60-80% of the real size.

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One thought on “Marbling

  1. Reblogged this on Маленький Лес and commented:
    Kris has posted some of the marbling we did 8 or 9 years ago…seeing them again, I’m amazed at the detail and atterns we managed to coax out of rainwater, cassava starch and cheapest of the cheap house paints, which was all we had to work with. Kris took his own marblings one step further, by later looking for creatures hidden in the swirling colors, and highlighting or muting parts of the pattern to bring them out.

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