Marbling is a magical art form. Colors float on water and can be picked up by a single piece of paper. Of course, there’s the science of the alum and the oxgall and the effect a drop of egg white or a teaspoon of fertilizer mixed into the paint can have. There’s experimenting with the paper and the pigments and a whole range of variables. But when it comes right down to it, it’s magic. I can do the “same” thing over and over and only one sheet will elicit a smile or a gasp of delight. It’s as if I’m just helping some greater force to make a mystical image appear. It’s a gift, really.
It’s interesting to me that my two art forms are really at far ends of the control spectrum. So much of marbling is chance. I can choose the pigments and, to a certain extent, manipulate the colors. But when it comes right down to it, it’s always a surprise when the print is lifted off the water. Books on the other hand are very precise. I choose the size, the color, the subject matter and content. And yet, I like them both. Marbling is much more abstract; books generally more direct. Yin and yang, a search for balance. That’s a metaphor for my life; I guess for everyone’s.