Ink Adventure 1 – Freedom vs Control

As we head into the new year I’ve got a series of images I painted at around the same time. I want to show you two at a time over three weeks. While doing this I was trying to explore more adventurous ways of painting with ink.

I began with two paintings which are complete contrasts. The first is an ink painting of a sweet pea flower done using my regular watercolour technique but using ink rather than watercolour as my medium. I have a strong natural preference for precise, high control methods as I paint and this is the kind of painting I often make. I find it incredibly relaxing to paint like this..

However, I think I might develop more as an artist if I can learn to let the ink speak for itself a little more, letting go of control to some extent as I paint.

To try to kickstart myself into doing this I had a go at just playing with the ink. I made a splatter painting using a home-made straw to blow the ink in various directions. At first it felt like all semblance of artistic endeavour was gone and I was just mucking about, but gradually, as I got into it, I began to get a feel for how to blow the ink and where. I followed my gut, feeling my way into the painting. It surprised me quite a lot that I still had that same sense of direction about the painting that I get normally. I thought it would flow more somehow without any end in mind, but my heart was seeing into what I was doing and it still felt like I knew which way to go. I wondered if my mind was putting order onto chaos or if there was some kind of order there already which I was somehow picking up on.

Anyway, here is the spatter painting I made…

It was pretty good fun to make!

I wish you all a very happy new year!


12 thoughts on “Ink Adventure 1 – Freedom vs Control

  1. Thank you so much Jo for this interesting post “Ink Adventure”!
    I wish you also all the best for 2023 in good health and with a lot of art and drawing fun. It was great to follow your work and hope to do so in the new year.
    Greets, Rosie from Germany

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting! I have tried a dropper but I think I used the wrong kind of ink. It gave me some very interesting effects but not the swirls I wanted.


  3. I have been using inks – acrylic – after I saw Maggi Hambling using ink applied via a dropper ( just like a pen rather than pushing it out) to create swirls and patterns as potential preliminary sketches. Depending on the angle you hold itthe dropper gives you different thicknesses of line. I also started to spray parts of the lines with water to give other interesting effects. I had forgotten about the straw blowing approach. You could use the dropper here to create a droplet to blow around – must incorporate that when I get around to it again.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope 2023 will see your health recover, Jo – I know you’ve had a lot on your plate in recent times, so I hope your art will help you on your way to better things. And I’m now a fan of splatter paintings – more, please!

    Liked by 1 person

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