Thursday, December 29, 2011


I've been painting a bit lately. No, no, not with oils or acrylic or watercolors even, rather with a tea/vinegar mixture. Any painters who happen to stumble upon this post are probably thinking that I've gone totally bonkers...and that may just be true. Still...

The hard line on the left above resulted from painting a line of tea/vinegar on dry cotton in an attempt to rust a bold line down the piece. The hard line is actually where the mixture/rust bled and was totally unplanned, but very welcome.

Fast forward to a few days after this happened and you'd have found me standing in the studio looking at relic and experiencing an aha! moment. A what if moment.  

What if I rusted a piece solely by painting the area that I wanted to rust rather than soaking the whole piece of cotton? After searching in my treasure box for just the right bit, I decided to rust a rectangular grid pattern.

The cotton twill was folded to nearly the size of the rectangle (sorry, but I don't know what the piece really is in construction terms...hence calling it the rectangle) and the tea/vinegar was painted on the top layer only.

Oddly enough, some of the mixture still managed to soak through to the other layers, yet only the very top rusted.

On round two, more of the cotton was painted and the rectangle was folded inside.

As with the circle grid, this bundle is being opened, repositioned and rebundled each morning, with the exception of over Christmas when we were visiting family.

Five days of undisturbed rusting left quite an impression on the fabric. The heavy rust will wear away through handling...unless I figure out how to keep it there.

 This morning's results.

My plan is to continue until the whole piece is covered. How long that will take depends several things - how big an area is painted, how it is refolded, how wet the fabric becomes from being painted with such a thin mixture, how long it is left to rust each time, what effect the vinegar and continued rusting has on the rectangle....

Stay tuned for...weekly?...updates on this piece.


  1. What a lovely exploration of 'what if'? and such interesting results. It seems to give a bit of a balance between control and randomness; which is kind of good in a way. I like the tea-vinegar colour mix. Delicious!

  2. Fiona - "A bit of a balance between control and randomness." Perfectly stated.

  3. This is very exciting. I shall follow the progress. Happy New Year! Keep your focus and just do it. Right on.

  4. Judy - Glad you find the process exciting. There's a bit of a thrill each morning when I open the bundle to see the results of the past 24 hours. As Fiona said, it's a good balance between control and randomness. I'll post an update on Friday. Have a wonderful year!

  5. oh
    this is one Peace of Heaven
    you are making here,

    {{ i have long felt
    as an art*form
    was under rated,
    haven't you? }}

    i love the


  6. somepinkflowers - Your eloquent comment drew its own "oh my" from me...and put me in mind of eb over at Be...Dream...Play.

    Loved your exploration of UP, by the way. Enjoy!


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