Friday, March 25, 2016

Eco Printing from the Shoreline

A significant portion of my childhood was spent on this beach at Ft. DeSoto Park near St. Petersburg, Florida. Each winter when visiting my mom, we spend some time there. It's always a highlight of my stay.
This year, the mysteries of printing with plant pigments is always on my mind. And I had read recently that sea water makes a good mordant for printing on cotton. The photo above indicates it might be a good mordant for sand as well. Do you see the brown pigment bleeding from the mangrove leaf?
My shoreline walk that windy, cool day yielded lots of mangrove leaves washed up on the beach, along with some seaweeds. I used them as I found them - with a salty, sandy coating straight form the sea.
The seaweed (Sargassum, I believe) printed beautifully on seawater-soaked watercolor paper that was steamed in a packet, along with the mangrove leaves. I love the experiments!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Eco Printing Experiment #...

Cherry leaves on watercolor paper cooked between tin can lids with red cabbage leaves and a little vinegar in the simmering water bath.
Here are some recent eco printing experiments done in my studio with frozen plant material on watercolor paper. The prints here are a few of the many successes and failures. Since these, I have done much more, and right now I am about return to my studio after 10 days in Florida. And I have made some technical and creative leaps here that I could not possibly have made at home. So, my next several posts will take you along on my ride!

I also want to say that I have many online artists to thank. In the upcoming posts, I'll be sharing their links to blogs and websites that have been so valuable to me. The huge world wide artists community is fantastic, don't you think?!

Sweet gum (Liquidamber styraciflua) leaf.
Resulting print, with no mordants or other additions.