Over the years, I’ve explored a number of different printmaking practices – paste paper, monoprinting, relief printing (aka stamp carving). This spring, I added a new one to my toolkit – the ancient Turkish art form of paper marbling. I took a truly fantastic and soul-full online class with artist, Barb Skoog, called Clouds on Water. Barb is a passionate marbler who is equally passionate about teaching others to marble – very generous, very knowledgeable, very encouraging and supportive of every student. The class was well and truly worth every penny and every moment spent. I learned a ton and thought I’d take a moment to share some of my favorite pieces.
My first round of printing focused on simple patterns – stones, boulders and gelgit.
One of the first things I discovered and fell in love with about marbling is that the colors never mix in the tank – as you add new colors, the ones you’ve already thrown move or compress and everything shows, which means no mud – no worries about mixing the “wrong” colors – it’s all play and experimentation and that’s just cathartic for me!
I also loved moving the paint around with combs and rakes to create patterns. I’m certainly no master at it, but I love every little nuance – grainy paints, wonky patterns, air bubbles – I don’t care! Every one is beautiful in some way. Barb shares a TON of patterns in the class and I worked through every single one, time after time, until I got it right. I still have a lot of practicing to do – maybe that’ll be my next 100 journey! 😉
The BIG revelation for me was over-marbling! The idea was to take marbled prints you didn’t like and marble on top. I did some of that and loved it, but what really stole my heart was over-marbling on Gelli® prints! Several of those shown above were on top of leaf prints – beautiful in their own right, but even more lovely with the marbling on top! LOTS of books are getting made out of these babies (and lots more Gelli® print over-marbling is in my future)!!
I love marbling so much, I’m even rearranging the studio (yet again) to make room for it to be a permanent part of my art life! Cleaning, clearing, making space for something new – I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever be finished with that, ever settle on a firm set of art practices? Perhaps not – and I’m okay with that!