Artifact 1.1

Artifact 1.1

I don’t like this one.

This is from the first machine I built, and so far the only one that does not use stretched paper on panel. Instead it was pulled around dowel rods and held onto the rods with grommets over screws in the dowels. Those circles in each corner are the grommets. The machine, I think, is the prettiest, but produced the least interesting results. The thing wouldn’t paint. I kept refreshing the watercolors in it and it would rain and the watercolors would disappear, but the paper never really changed much. I’ve made alterations to this one to improve performance and stretched a new sheet on it, so let’s see.

I’ve decided to properly name my machines to feminize and humanize them. This one is “Bertha,” built and posted October 6th below. It’ll be fun to talk about them like members of the family.

Artifact 3.2

Artifact 3.2

This piece came from the same machine as yesterday’s post. It’s amazing how dramatically different it is. Although the machine is the same, most other factors did change. Previously it was in the back of McColl Center for Visual Art. This time it had been moved to the front. It was windier there, but this machine doesn’t rely on wind. It’s possible it received more rain further away from the building and trees. Not sure. But I also tried a new brand of watercolor, M Graham whose distinction is an added dose of honey. I had tried them before, but they never dried in my palette and would run together when I folded the palette closed. Nice colors however, and it’s inability to dry and harden struck me as ideal for the machines since they often spend days in the sun between rainfalls.

This one was painted during last Friday’s rain, and I plucked it Saturday morning.

Artifact 3.1

Artifact 3.1

The titles will be a little cryptic until I figure out some naming scheme for these, but this is the first painting from machine #3 below. This one is extremely atmospheric, all subtlety with this flair cutting through. It’s interesting to see where the water decides to go, which leaves the question of how and why. The second painting from this particular machine could not be more dramatically different. I’ll post that tomorrow.

Mural Video

I’ve been intending on posting this for a while now. This is a video/slideshow presentation of the mural under development. Enjoy!

Painting Machine 3

Painting Machine 3

I finished this one last week but didn’t shoot it until today. Machine #3 uses a standard silkscreen suspended parallel to a stretched piece of paper beneath. In this image you’re about paper level, so you can’t really see it too well, but you can see the underside of the silkscreen from this angle. That black on the screen is actually an old print, so I obviously used a screen I had laying around. On the top side of the screen are various blobs of watercolor sitting and waiting for rain, which is predicted tomorrow.

The idea here is that the rain will saturate the silkscreen and moisten the watercolors. The screen is a fairly dense mesh, so it should hold the water until it builds up significantly by which time it should be well stained with the moistened watercolors. Then areas of the screen will reach critical mass and begin to drop wet colors onto the paper beneath. Where it will choose to drop is just natural random order.

In fact, this one has already been hit with rain. On the one hand, it was not PERFECTLY level, although it appeared to be, so the dyed water more or less ran to one side before building enough weight to drip through the screen. Not planned. However (this is the other hand) it did make a really soft interesting design on the paper. I’ll be pulling it tomorrow and post the results here, but frankly the subtlety may be too much to reproduce digitally. We’ll see.

For tomorrow, however, I hope to take Rick’s suggestion and record one of these babies in rainy action and post.

Wall 5

Wall 5 Watercolor

Stayed home today with some kind of croup. Nothing productive happened, but I thought I would dig around in the archives to post something. Here’s a leftover from the Wall watercolors I started earlier this year. This was before the others, so I hadn’t gotten dirty yet, but the design and structure were there. Unfinished, but with charm.

Painting Machine 2

Painting Machine 2

This one I was finishing as it was starting to rain. Like the previous machine, cups of watercolor are in the bar across the top of the machine. With rain, the cups fill up and drop watercolors onto a slanted plexiglass at the top, drip down to a stretched paper, run down the paper, then drip down to another stretched paper at the bottom. Basically acting like a waterfall, the machine creates two paintings at a time. After it had rained some I took these shots, so you can see some of the paths on the paper.

The Amazing Painting Machine #1

Painting Machine

Well, not really amazing and technically not a machine either, this gizmo is a contraption to paint watercolors generated by wind and rain, patent pending.

Basically it consists of a rack to hold and stretch the paper with dry watercolor and nylon string dangling across the face of the paper. When it rains, the watercolor moistens and runs down the string depositing patterns on the paper surface. With the wind, the string should create interesting patterns and directions.

More to come.