Because the hubs deserved a piece of artwork and he wanted something for his office, I took the 4 old cans of printing ink that I had stolen out of the trunk of his car down from the long shelf and glopped it onto a canvas that I had sectioned off into quadrants.
The ink was so old and thick it wouldn't roll onto a brayer so I mixed in some linseed oil until it would roll a bit. This thought which at first seemed to be stroke of genius was in hindsight a mistake. The second mistake was actually applying it to a surface that had been sealed in gel medium. Who knew it would take nearly 4 WEEKS for the oily and sticky layer to dry before I could carry on with the next steps.
At week two I started to get pretty concerned although I could see a gradual drying process happening in the areas where the ink was thin. The stolen printing inks were oil-based so of course they were going to take time to dry. I just didn't know how much. So I called up an old colleague of the hubs to discuss the situation.
Rainer (pronounced: Rhine-Nah) asked me, "Well how thick did you apply the ink?"
"I slapped it on like toothpaste in some spots," I said.
"What? Oje. It might never dry because you put in on a non-sucking surface."
He meant non-absorbent and he was right. What was I thinking? Whatever. It was bad bad news. Nothing to do but wait at that point. But within another week the yellow, magenta and black all dried. It was only the Cyan that refused to give in. Cyan needed several extra days and brought me to the conclusion that all blues are temperamental and uncooperative.
Adhering the letters could be another blog post entirely. I "built up" the backside of the canvas with magazines, applied gips binden to the backsides of the letters (what's "gips" in English? Gypsum? The chalky bandage stuff they use to make casts out of..)? And then slathered the letters in gel medium, setting them onto the canvas ( and of course I eye-balled this, no measuring for me! I mean why take another two minutes to measure something you've already got over a month invested in? Measuring is for the weak. Umm, mistake #3. It's embarrassing to even write this stuff). And once I had the letters set I flipped the coffee table upside down over the entire thing and then weighed that down with piles of old magazines. And I could write yet another post about my obsessive-compulsive predicament where I was sure that one of the letters had slipped during this process so I pulled the entire construction apart and rebuilt it back up. Like 5 times.
In the end, I was pleased with the result. It was fun to make some "man art" that didn't have to be pretty. This isn't the first time I've played around with the CMYK theme. It fascinates me that nearly all the printed materials in the world are created by the crazy witchcraft of mixing these four simple colors. The hubs seems really happy with his artwork and I'm enjoying the stories he's brought home about people's reactions to it.