Saturday, August 22, 2009

When good ideas go bad

If you are an artist, or even if you just like to play around with techniques, sometimes you get an idea that works, and sometimes you just can't win. Friday was one of those "no win" days for me.

I began with the idea of using that red fabric that didn't want to cooperate when I was using it in gelatin monoprinting. I decided to try bleaching it, so I dug out my bleach pen, some rubber stamps, a Styrofoam tray with a water saturated paper towel, and a plastic piece with circles.

I began by putting way, way, way, way, way too much bleach on the rubber stamp. Did I mention I had way more bleach than I needed?

I stamped the material three times, the last time giving me the best print.

I immediately soaked the stamp in the wet paper towel until I could clean it properly.

Next. I used a foam brush to color the tips on the hard plastic piece and stamped.

When I pulled the plastic piece away from the material, it stuck to the plastic. Dang! That was not what I was going for.

Undaunted, I re-inked and stamped again, this time being careful to hold the material down when I pulled the plastic away. Now the circles didn't all print.

That was OK. I could fix that by dipping the flat end of a bamboo skewer in the ink and stamping. Not what I wanted, but not too bad.

After three hours, the fish still looked this way, so I washed out the bleach and there was NO difference in the material. Not even a hint that there had been bleach sitting on the piece all that time. After the piece was dry, I tried stamping a fish in the gold paint, and that didn't work, either. All I got was a blob of partially printed goo. I was able to wash the paint out of the material with no effect to it. So I have given up on that material. I'll find something to use it in, but it won't be bleaching, stamping, or monoprinting. If I hadn't torn it up, I could have turned that material into an art apron since nothing sticks to it!!

So, on Friday I tried to make art and made a mess instead. Sometimes that happens, and the idea is to not give up. You can be sure I'll be back in my studio today after taking my neighbor to the airport and stopping by the home improvement store for art supplies.

4 thoughtful remarks:

Mar said...

the last 2 techniques you share certainly have taken you on a journey!
you get in there and get down and dirty with the stuff!
i admire you for that woman!!!!
so it might not always work right..
when it might is what the aim is

great shares..

~*~Magpie's Nest said...

I have found bleach to be fickle, I had some great success with liquid bleach on a paper towel in a styrofoam tray using a dragonfly stamp, tried it again and it would not cooperate. I like the gel bleach, it's such fun to stamp on various colored cardstock, you never know what colors you'll get.

a gal in an altered puzzle swap bleach stamped on denim and it looked great!

rivergardenstudio said...

I love reading about your printing process, even though the fish printing didn't work! I have a cat that looks very much like yours... Roxanne

Halle said...

I had trouble with a gel bleach pen once then I realized I needed to shake it really well before applying. It could have just been lame fabric too...but the wet stain around the fish prints makes me think the bleach pen needed to be shaken.