Once the ink is poured, the artwork starts to form. But getting from that first drop to the finished piece is an adventure itself.
"Time and Timelessness" is artist Mary Sullivan's exhibit at the Society of Bluffton Artists gallery through July 14. Much of her work is poured ink abstracts, where she is literally pouring ink on canvas and working with the results.
Sullivan, a Hilton Head Island resident, discusses her style.
Question. What will you have on display?
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Answer. I've got three different styles on display. Two grew out of the one style. I had an exhibit at the Art League (of Hilton Head Island). I showed pouring and straining of permanent inks. I used different papers or materials to form resists or patterns in the inks. Some of the material I used was waxed papers. I saved the papers. The wax held the ink. They'd form these beautiful colors. I thought of cutting them into different shapes and forms. As I created those works, I thought about the leftover material I saved from my acrylic palette that were just beautiful colors. I worked at cutting and tearing those into sculpture-like forms.
Q. When you're pouring, do you know what's going to happen?
A. There's always a surprise. And then I work with the composition. I come in with more direct methods -- pen, ink, brush. It's very spontaneous. I like the spontaneity. That's when you get the image where you discover things.
Q. How often is your work evolving?
A. I just go with my feeling. One is an indirect process where you pour the ink. One is more direct where you're cutting and shaping. I'm kind of experimental in that respect.
Q. Have you always worked in abstract painting?
A. A tiny bit here and there. Really since 2008. I rented a studio with another artist. It made a lot of difference for me to explore and create. I originally was working in oils and then I played around with acrylics and got into abstract. I found what I really loved.