Carrageenan (Beth) –

For the record, I do not eat the carrageenan, which is a red seaweed known as Irish Moss, and which is used in some foods as a thickener.

My purpose is different. My carrageenan comes as a soft white powder, and Bill (having written the recipe on an old plastic milk container) knows just how to blend the right amount of carrageenan with the right amount of water to make a thick and slimy mix. Which settles for a few days in the milk jug in the refrigerator (in the back, for safety’s sake) before it is then poured into an aluminum tray that Bill once spray painted white.

There, in the tray, my carrageenan stays, taking onto its back (or face?) every last flick of color that I choose to flick. Which is a lot. Possibly too much. (My enthusiasm, again.)

I can pull twelve marbled sheets before the carrageenan calls it quits—grows too muddy for me to study the color patterns on, begins to leave angry dark lines across the art.

Twelve sheets takes me two or three hours, as it turns out.

Ground (Bill) –

I just finished preparing enough stretched canvas and rigid panels for about a dozen new pieces ranging in size from 9″ X 12″ — 30″ X 30″. They all have a gesso ground with a light acrylic wash – a couple with a (mostly) raw umber imprimatura. 

It takes a long time but it’s important to me to be part of each piece from the very beginning.

From a distance it does look a lot like procrastination, and sometimes I wonder.

Whatever it is, the work better be good.

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