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  • Writer's pictureMandy

Welcome to Ink Chatter!

Updated: Jan 13, 2022

Hello, and welcome to Ink Chatter!

My name is Mandy, and I’m so glad you’ve reached my blog and website. My whole life, to this point, has been a creative journey filled with many art mediums and crafting adventures. My father aptly named me mini Martha (yes, cheesy, I know.) at a young age, and my mother fostered my curiosity by supplying me with art and crafting supplies. I entered and won my first art (coloring) competition when I was 7 and never looked back.

I have enjoyed experimenting in a variety of mediums, from sewing to oil painting and engaged in various formal and non-formal learning environments. I have been seeking my artistic calling for a very long time, wondering if I would ever find my niche. That is until now. Ever heard of the saying "find what you love and let it kill you"? Well, I’ve finally found my medium, alcohol ink. Cheers to hoping it doesn't kill me in the process.

If you are new to alcohol ink, you may be wondering, what is alcohol ink?

Alcohol ink is a fast-drying, highly pigmented ink that is typically used on non-porous surfaces (i.e., yupo paper, metal, glass, plastic, and other smooth surfaces). I primarily work with yupo paper and prefer Legion or on canvas. When working with canvas, the surface needs to be prepped appropriately for the best results, more on that in another post.

Ink can be applied to surfaces in different ways (dripped, dropped, and layered), and manipulated using different processes (forced air, brushes, airbrush, palette knives). Some of the tools I use include silicone brushes, pipettes, paintbrushes, airbrush, travel-sized hairdryer, straws, palette knives. Don't worry; I will post tutorials using different techniques and tools.

Another important thing to consider when working with alcohol ink is health safety. I use a 3M mask and latex gloves when working with alcohol inks. Proper ventilation is also essential when working with alcohol inks.

Alcohol ink is available in a variety of colors from different brands. Some of the brands I use include Tim Holtz Ranger Inks, Brea Reese, Jacquard products, and TREX inks. I’ll be publishing subsequent posts and tutorials on brands in the near future, be on the lookout!

Alcohol blending solutions are available to lighten colors and clean inks from porous surfaces. There are various brands available to purchase or you can make your own, but be careful because you’re working with chemicals. Some artists (myself included) prefer using isopropyl alcohol in place of blending solutions.

Mixatives and metallics can be added for extra *sparkle*. I prefer to use Jacquard Product Pinata metallics and Tim Holtz Ranger Ink Mixatives.

The creative options in the world of alcohol ink are endless, which is why I’m starting this blog. Ink Chatter is a place where you’ll find musings of an ink raving artist, tutorials, and general information about what I’m working on in my studio (i.e., my closet). I’ll sprinkle in a bit of motivation while I’m at it because let’s face it, if you’re here, you’re likely an artist/creative and all artists need mindset checks from time to time. I’m a full-time educator at a research University and finishing up my PhD, so teaching and research are innately a part of my chemical makeup. I’ll try to keep you all up-to-date on the latest and greatest in the world of alcohol ink and provide you with tutorials so you can practice my techniques and my intuitive approach to creating art.

I’m so glad you’re here, and I look forward to sharing glimpses into the beautiful world of alcohol ink and sparking joy in your life.

XO Mandy

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Hi Mandy! I am loving your Ink Chatter posts! I'm new to alcohol ink painting – I find it very meditative and am using it to process some difficult feelings. I hope you will share more about how you achieve such smooth color washes and large pools of ripple-free color. I find them so soothing to look at but struggle to recreate the effect myself. There seen to be many tutorials on creating ripples or the tools that are used but I would love to learn more about ink drying techniques. Hoping you will share your expertise with this eager newbie.

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