LAURIS PHILLIPS SUMI-E
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Lightning Whelk / 2008

Lightning Whelk / 2008

with handmade coyote brush, 18 x 14 in

Lightning Whelk, interior / 2008

Lightning Whelk, interior / 2008

with handmade coyote brush, 18 x 14 in

Wavy Topshell, interior / 2007

Wavy Topshell, interior / 2007

with handmade coyote brush

Black Murex / 2008

Black Murex / 2008

with handmade coyote brush, 14 x 9

Small Whelk / 2014

Small Whelk / 2014

with handmade weasel brush, including silk border 13 x 9 in

 

Caracol - small / 2014

Caracol - small / 2014

with handmade raccoon brush, including silk border 19 x 15

Plicopurpura pansa 4 / 2009

Plicopurpura pansa 4 / 2009

with its own ink & handmade coyote brush, 9 x 14 in

a note on Plicopurpura pansa:

 The purple ink you see here is a natural dye secreted by a small sea snail named Plicopurpura pansa

 It lives in the high impact zones of tidal rocky areas of western Mexico and Central America.  It is thought that P. pansa uses this secretion, a neurotoxin, for defense and for disabling other snails before eating them.  It has been used for centuries by native Mexican dyers to color wool for weaving.  They gather the fluid by "milking the snail" which entails taking the critter from its rock at low tide, turning it upside-down and blowing on or poking the operculum until the snail gives up it's milk-like white fluid.  The snail is then put back on its rock, slightly traumatized, but fine. 

 I found P. pansa living in large numbers on the southwest coast of Baja.  My process of collecting the fluid was similar to the traditional dyers, but rather than pour it directly onto a skein of yarn I poured it into a bottle and took it back to my temporary studio.  By the time I had hassled 100 or so snails I had about 2 ounces of the "milk".  The fluid was light green by the time I painted with it, then changed to turquoise and finally to the delicate purple that you see here as it dried in the sunlight; a photo-oxidizing dye.

 Out of respect I painted only "self-portraits" of Plicopurpura pansa with its precious ink. 

Plicopurpura pansa 3 / 2009

Plicopurpura pansa 3 / 2009

with its own ink & handmade coyote brush, 9 x 14 in

 

Plicopurpura pansa 1 / 2009

Plicopurpura pansa 1 / 2009

with its own ink & handmade coyote brush, 9 x 14 in

 

Plicopurpura pansa 2 / 2009

Plicopurpura pansa 2 / 2009

with its own ink, sumi & handmade coyote brush, 7 x 9 in

 

Pllicopurpura pansa 5 / 2009

Pllicopurpura pansa 5 / 2009

with its own ink & handmade coyote brush, 14 x 9 in

 

Lightning Whelk / 2008

with handmade coyote brush, 18 x 14 in

Lightning Whelk, interior / 2008

with handmade coyote brush, 18 x 14 in

Wavy Topshell, interior / 2007

with handmade coyote brush

Black Murex / 2008

with handmade coyote brush, 14 x 9

Small Whelk / 2014

with handmade weasel brush, including silk border 13 x 9 in

 

Caracol - small / 2014

with handmade raccoon brush, including silk border 19 x 15

Plicopurpura pansa 4 / 2009

with its own ink & handmade coyote brush, 9 x 14 in

a note on Plicopurpura pansa:

 The purple ink you see here is a natural dye secreted by a small sea snail named Plicopurpura pansa

 It lives in the high impact zones of tidal rocky areas of western Mexico and Central America.  It is thought that P. pansa uses this secretion, a neurotoxin, for defense and for disabling other snails before eating them.  It has been used for centuries by native Mexican dyers to color wool for weaving.  They gather the fluid by "milking the snail" which entails taking the critter from its rock at low tide, turning it upside-down and blowing on or poking the operculum until the snail gives up it's milk-like white fluid.  The snail is then put back on its rock, slightly traumatized, but fine. 

 I found P. pansa living in large numbers on the southwest coast of Baja.  My process of collecting the fluid was similar to the traditional dyers, but rather than pour it directly onto a skein of yarn I poured it into a bottle and took it back to my temporary studio.  By the time I had hassled 100 or so snails I had about 2 ounces of the "milk".  The fluid was light green by the time I painted with it, then changed to turquoise and finally to the delicate purple that you see here as it dried in the sunlight; a photo-oxidizing dye.

 Out of respect I painted only "self-portraits" of Plicopurpura pansa with its precious ink. 

Plicopurpura pansa 3 / 2009

with its own ink & handmade coyote brush, 9 x 14 in

 

Plicopurpura pansa 1 / 2009

with its own ink & handmade coyote brush, 9 x 14 in

 

Plicopurpura pansa 2 / 2009

with its own ink, sumi & handmade coyote brush, 7 x 9 in

 

Pllicopurpura pansa 5 / 2009

with its own ink & handmade coyote brush, 14 x 9 in

 

Lightning Whelk / 2008
Lightning Whelk, interior / 2008
Wavy Topshell, interior / 2007
Black Murex / 2008
Small Whelk / 2014
Caracol - small / 2014
Plicopurpura pansa 4 / 2009
Plicopurpura pansa 3 / 2009
Plicopurpura pansa 1 / 2009
Plicopurpura pansa 2 / 2009
Pllicopurpura pansa 5 / 2009