Marbling show install image.jpg

Playing with Color

Exhibit at North Water Brewing Company

Kent, OH

In the collection of work, for Playing with Color: Paper Marbling, I am combining patterns from Turkey, France, Italy, and England, using highly saturated, non-traditional colors to enhance the art of the original design. Marbled paper historically was used for hundreds of years to adorn the exterior or interior of important manuscripts. In this small body of work, I am presenting a collection of traditional and non-traditional designs and like paintings, distilled in a 2D viewing experience with a fraction of the possibilities and color combinations. I am interested in the beauty of design, pattern and ornament and it’s calming and effect on the viewer. 

What is Marbling? It is the creative act of using watercolor or water thinned paint that has been dispersed on a bed of thickened water (carrageenan), to create original and ornate designs by either raking, manipulating, or drawing with a thin tool into the water/paint surface. Each print pulled is essentially a monoprint after a sheet of prepared paper is carefully laid on top of the inked water.  

Marbling has thick roots, much like the history of painting; its history can be traced to Suminagashi (Japan), then migrated to Turkey, France, Spain, Germany and England, while eventually ending up in America. Each country has a stylistic signature and color palette that is historically tied with marbling. While this is an overly simplified and paired down version of the history, it is part of the stylistic that places certain designs in the creative act of this particular making. Marbling is like 2D yoga for those who practice this ancient craft. The maker strives for balance and finding a rhythm between the paint and water. As an art form, this has a great lineage and beautiful history.