What is Alcohol Ink?
I'm so glad you asked!
Alcohol Inks are a lot like watercolours, but it is alcohol to alcohol inks that is like water to watercolours. The inks are a solution of dye dissolved in isopropyl alcohol and recognized by their intense, highly saturated, translucent colours.
They look brightest when painted on something non-porous. Most of the time, I use Yupo paper which is much like paper in it's appearance and weight, but is a non-porous synthetic paper.
The inks are very interesting to work with because they are always live. Even after a piece has dried (but before it is sealed, if a drop of alcohol or alcohol ink touches it, all the colours that are touched by that new ink react. Unlike traditional painting, alcohol inks don't layer or blend. They tend more to push each other out of the way - creating wonderfully organic lines. Sometimes the paper beneath stains, but the ink is still moved to one side creating those dark edges that are so interesting.
It means that things don't always turn out as planned and my job as the artist is to work with what is happening and turn it into something beautiful.
I love their unexpected and uncontrollable nature - it leaves lots of room for creativity and intuition.
I have found my medium.
Seasons along the Way...
In my last year of high school, my art class went on a field trip to an art college. The trip was one I had been looking forward to for weeks as this was where I thought I would continue my education in pursuit of becoming an artist.
The day of the tour was not one I would soon forget. It was mildly traumatizing. Everything I saw there was the opposite of who I thought I was as an artist. Everything I saw that day was dark, bloody, scary and gory.
I left believing I could never be an artist.
I made other plans. I went to university, got married, had children and lived life, while the artist in me leaked out in all kinds of ways along the way.
Finally, in 2014, my husband got a new office and commissioned me to paint him something to hang on the bare walls. Painting again was like a breath of fresh air in lungs long starved of oxygen.
It wasn’t until Christmas of 2016 that I discovered Alcohol Inks. They were vibrant, rich in colour, translucent, and such a challenge - painting with them requires an ability to relinquish control and enjoy the outcome. They come alive again when one colour touches another. I have enjoyed the challenge of this new medium and it is my hope that you appreciate the results. In finding alcohol inks, I have rediscovered a part of myself.
What's in a Name?
I have always believed that names are significant. There is a proverb which says that a good name is better that silver. My given names mean Weaver or Creative Spirit and Light. Our family name means Mighty Man. As a young girl, a family friend prayed for me, that I would become a Weaver of Light and somehow I have always felt that that was who I was. In whatever I do, I try to look for the ‘light’ in the midst of the darkest of situations.
I have always been creative and had a pioneering spirit that drives me to try new things. I’ve been making art in one form or another for as long as I can remember and alcohol inks are my latest adventure.
It is my hope and prayer that my work brings something bright to your life!
Penny Gabor Art
By Appointment or by chance!