m12 (raw)

David Somers bio photo By David Somers Comment
Marbling Set 12, in progress. 2/2 72 off 90mm × 90mm. Ink on paper.
Marbling Set 12, in progress. 1/2 72 off 90mm × 90mm. Ink on paper.


Over the past few days I have been looking at the “captures” in my m series. I have essentially experimented with a number of methods of “capturing” which have include simply dropping paper onto the ink to get a snapshot, dragging the paper across to get something a bit dynamic, dipping multiple times to deliberately overlay, moping up when changing colors, to pure “mistakes” where I have accidentally dropped the paper while handling it. There have also been experiments involving different intensity of ink, from subtle to not so-subtle. And also in how the ink itself is dispersed in the bath. The result is about 200 “captures” to date, some of which work better than others and have been artistically distilled here and there.

For this set — m10 — I intend to produce “captures” with low color saturation, and that have a pronounced division. Essentially, trying to find a process to reproduce something akin to m3p20.

m3p20 90mm × 90mm. Ink on paper.

As a slight deviation, I want use some different color combinations: a pairing of purple and red and of purple and blue.

Chilling out to Gas 0095. Goes rather well with the process. Got into this music as it was used in osmos. Need something relaxing to get me into the zone. After a somewhat shaky start, the desired result is beginning to appear; seem to have worked out the process I need to follow. A few that really work. A few that don’t. Just have to push through the ones that don’t and hope the ones that do reappear. The end result, a raw set of 72 “captures”. From previous ones I know that I can’t judge fully until they have dried out: while wet the colors looks different; moreover the pigments are fluid and move and interact with each other as the paper warps as it dries. However, even at this stage, there are a few that have caught my eye; hopefully, when everything is dried, that will still be the case. The signal-to-noise is a bit low, but as a lot of this involves variables outside my control, its to be expected. A return of 1% would be good. Have to make a lot to get one. But when it works, it works so good.

One immediate thought as I look at them concerns the areas where there is no ink. Do I treat this as precious? When brining these into the digital world it would be easy to flood fill them with an appropriate wash. Would this be a gain, an improvement, or will it loose integrity? This can’t be evaluated until I post process a few and do a bit of comparison.

These are good

Looking at the “captures” still wet, there are a few that have immediately caught my eye as being good. Is good the right word? Probably not. Perhaps better to say they have a “quality” that I like. Quality. Metaphysics of Quality. Pirsig 1974, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Should re-read that book. And Lila too.

m12p4 [wet] 90mm × 90mm. Ink on paper.
m12p9 [wet] 90mm × 90mm. Ink on paper.
m12p10 [wet] 90mm × 90mm. Ink on paper.
m12p40 [wet] 90mm × 90mm. Ink on paper.


Going off on somewhat of a tangent, when writing about d4, I referred to my works in rather terse notation of f, and g, and m. Perhaps a bit cryptic, but I do like this minimalist convention. Its more of a shorthand that I’m using to manage the physical pieces and their digital counterparts.

  • c for Configuration
  • d for Distillation
  • f for Fiber sculpture
  • g for Generative
  • m for Marbled
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