Paper Marbling

I took a Paper Marbling class this past weekend at the Common Room Studio in Alexandria, VA... (super cool little space for creative endeavors owned by Nole Garey, renowned blogger from Oh So Beautiful Paper, so check it out;) Taught by Kelly Laughlin from Baltimore, I have admired Kelly's beautiful hand made papers for years, so I was particularly excited to have an opportunity to learn the basics from her. The space is light filled, casual and cool... a great place to spend a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. 

 Kelly Laughlin ( @kellylaughlin_ ) doing several demonstrations of her practice

Kelly Laughlin (@kellylaughlin_) doing several demonstrations of her practice

 Marbled papers drying at Common Room Studio 

Marbled papers drying at Common Room Studio 

Suminagashi is an ancient Japanese art form of decorating papers with inks which float on water's surface. Whether you want it to or not, like painting with watercolors, the pigment is at the mercy of the current, tends to have a mind of its own and swirls into ever changing patterns. One of the reasons I love watercolors so much is that there is an inherent imperfection to the medium... water tends to flow as it wishes and so part of the process is giving in to a moment, relinquishing total control and letting it take you to a beautiful new place. There's something very meditative about that. Understandable then, why the art of Suminagashi speaks to me as it does.  

 I spent more time swirling ink on water than actually dipping paper in... loved the movement. 

I spent more time swirling ink on water than actually dipping paper in... loved the movement. 

 A few of my works, drying next to my pan of marbled water... my colors;) 

A few of my works, drying next to my pan of marbled water... my colors;) 

Of course, those who are familiar with my art and design will recognize that I have been hand painting designs for years that mimic the natural undulating patterns of the suminagashi technique. I love organic lines and I study them... In my world of design, those lines often become part of patterning which graces many products in my fine art and home decor portfolio, from bedding duvets, to fabrics, to wallpaper, to wedding invitations to wall art... Here are a few of my hand painted versions... see the inspired connection between them? 

I loved the class, met some great people and really enjoyed learning the basics. Now I'd like to dig a bit deeper into this medium and really see what's possible. I am picturing something a bit grander in scale... oh yes, I have a vision... so stay tuned;)