Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rusting thru the rain

Well, I left you all on Saturday night when I had popped my rust and paper and teabags out in the light gentle rain. Ha. I woke at about 11pm that night to driving, torrential rain and thought oh-oh, things are going to be totally soaked. And they were. in fact they were swimming and I started to worry that the paper would disintegrate with so much water. But it held.

I moved the table under cover on Sunday morning, but the rain kept coming from all angles so it had no hope of drying. Then I moved it inside with a log fire on Monday morning to let things dry out and to see what had happened.

And there was definitely some magic.

 Here's how things looked when I lifted up the rusty bits and took away the teabags.

I quite like the shadow sorts of marks that are left, and you can see the green tea (grey) and the black tea (rusty) colours that washed through the paper and the pieces. And some tea leaves that broke out of their bags!

Here are a few of my favourite  fragments...

I think I need to pay better attention to the weather and not leave my poor paper out in flooding rains.
I really like the way the chain rusted.
I love how green tea brings in the grey.
I'll definitly be trying it again with some of the ideas from folk and some better planning...


  1. nature is an unpredictable collaborator (but that's what makes it so much fun!)

  2. Wonderful results Fiona! I love patterns made by nature. I left a glass leaf on my window sill a couple of years ago and it produced a beautiful shape on the sill. I of course photographed it and in turn made art out of it.

  3. Ooooh! What delightful marks you got. I'm drooling on my keyboard...need to stop that before it shorts out.

    The other thing I had fun with was plopping down a very wet green tea bag so that a lot of tea went on the paper in one spot, then putting down a rusty bit for a little while...until the reaction began and the tea turned black/grey. Then I took the rusty bit away and upended the paper so the tea ran and made long gray marks. Did that while at Pam's. There are a few photos of the pages...on Tuesday's artist retreat posts, I think.

    Can't wait to see what you experiment with next. I liked Noela's suggestion of spraying the paper with vinegar. Enjoy!

  4. Love the muted soft results of this experiment - due to the flood of rain, I guess. We are having quite a bit of that here too...
    Looking forward to seeing more of your experiments - maybe I will try something myself on the weekend.

  5. Looks great, love the gray shodowy stuff, too. I'm right behind you... wanting to give it a whirl, or a rust, that is!

  6. Wow - great effects - love the combination of intention and randomness here - after all, you made the placements of the objects just so, but then nature had her way with it all!

  7. Lovely marks. I do have favorite rusty items now because I love the particular marks they make - always a bit different though. You never quite know what you're going to get. I collected a load of new rusty things on the beach last weekend and can't wait to have a play...

  8. The abundance of rain might've been fortuitous.....such subtle and beautiful marks!

  9. Fiona, I doubt planning could have provided you with something as spontaneous and lovely as this! Next question.... what is it destined for.... can't wait to see what it leads to.

  10. I agree Ronnie; it's always a good reminder about what we really can or can't control in life!

    Spoken like a true artist Louise! Those shapes left behind cry out for photographing and then the next steps...

    Oh yes please, don't let me short your keyboard out! Thanks for the tip about what you did - I think my next challenge is just to play with tea and rust, not rain!

    Thanks Stregata; I do think the flooding rains did create the soft and muted effects. Check out all the comments about what others are suggesting and I'm sure you'll be inspired to have a play.

    Hi Valerianna - yes it's definitely worth a whirl - all the experimenting will show different results and I'm looking forward to my next batch.

    So true G/TT - the interplay between control and not! I like how it worked and there are parts I truly love; but am now itching to try another approach or two...

    Hi Alice - thanks! I can imagine that favourite bits emerge; and then trick you by doing something unexpected. I think I will be forever trying to get the balance between random/surprise and control and preferred...enjoy playing with your new bits!

    It's interesting isn't it Jo? Very subtle they are and I do like them...

    Hi Lesley; yes I'm peeking at it, picking it up turning it this way and that...I imagine a book, but then when do I not!?!?! Enjoy.

  11. wonderful to see your artful experiment. What do you think you will do with this paper? I wonder if the rust will continue to effect it, as in deteriorating over time? because i think i would love painting on a page like this.

  12. I just love it! I also love it when my drawings paper are marked with rusty smudges or whatever i think of to create spots and marks. The idea of vinegar i read in one of the comments is a new one to me, but i surely will try it.

  13. Lovely mark making, Fiona, it will be interesting to see what comes of this.


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