Exercise 0.3

Negative Marks

Having been prompted to work with negative marks but being unable to obtain the masking fluid that the assignment called for, I had to innovate. I did have black India Ink, graphite sticks, and white crayon. To best achieve the outcomes of this exercise, I used the white crayons to create a resist over which I washed the black India Ink. This didn’t duplicate the results of using masking fluid but I did learn from it. Heavy crayon and heavy ink yielded really interesting results. It was reminiscent of childhood in using wax crayon as my initial medium. 

Having had so much success in revealing the hidden marks made on the white paper with the white wax crayon, I decided to try the same wax marks but revealing them with the softer graphite sticks – like rubbing over a textured surface like a leaf or an ancient granite headstone. The results were different but just as interesting as those using the ink. Softer marks but still very visible. 

The second portion of the exercise was to apply white ink on top of black ink. Having not been successful in obtaining white ink, I again innovated with what I had on hand. I used the same materials from the first part of the exercise and reversed the application. I painted black ink onto the paper and allowed it to dry. The white wax crayon wasn’t very visible on top of the ink but it was softly present. It would be worthwhile to repeat this part of the exercise with heavier black ink and allowing it to dry fully before applying the wax crayon. Perhaps the results would differ? Be more contrasting? 

In this exercise, I don’t think I went deep enough into what the materials could have achieved. Also, I suspect that if I’d been able to locate the media needed for this work, I might have gotten more out of it. This is definitely an exercise worth returning to and with all of the materials. The outcomes were some I’d look at repeating deliberately, however.