Monday 30 April 2012


This is an experiment that's not suggested in the Mess Book, and I've never done it before, but I encourage you to have a go.  I warn you, this is a long post, but it's the only way I can describe the process.

A week or so ago I did the initial freezing of a small block of ice-plus-paint in a plastic tub about 4" x 3".  First I froze a thin layer of water (in the freezer), then squirted red and yellow watercolour paint from a tube onto it, covered it with just enough water and froze that level.  I did a few other levels of ice in the same way, but with different colours. 

Yesterday I tipped the ice out into a strong plastic bag and hammered the daylights out of it, because I thought it would take forever to melt on the paper otherwise.

I knew the whole procedure would be very wet and I couldn't see any way of doing it in the book without making all the pages soggy, so I used a piece of photocopier paper cut in two, put each piece on an old plate and then poured the ice pieces over each of them.  Whoops, I thought, too much ice per page and it all looks green - failure ahead (positive thinking mode in use!).

So I shoved them both in the airing cupboard and left them all day, except for the odd check visit, during which I poured off as much water as possible and put paper kitchen towel underneath them.  

Here's the first one when it was completely dry - wow, I am pleased with that, the green watery area has turned blue.  Not all of the tube paint has dissolved and gives lovely bright areas of colour.

And here's the smaller one.  I like the look of this one sideways on.

I have a feeling the lumps of solid paint will crack and flake off, but this will add to the unexpected result in the true Andy Goldsworthy spirit.  Really quite pleased with the experiment.

JUST ONE SAD NOTE IN THE DAY:  Tree surgeons are bit by bit sawing down a big old tree (about 60 ft high) in the grounds of the building opposite.  It's very old, but looks fine, so I can only assume that the dreaded 'elf-and-safety' has kicked in.  Very sad.


  1. Jez you are a true Mess Queen - this is superb, I can't wait to give it a go. I wonder what would happen if you mixed in different types of paint - acrylics and oils for example... You're a genius!

  2. Fantastic! I am learning so much from your mess-making! This process is so cool (pun intended, of course! Ha!) I am definitely going to have to give this a try!


  3. that is just so cool. I love the unexpected results - I think that's the beauty of this book and this group - letting go of expectations and trying something crazy and discovering something totally unexpected in the process. and I am newly in love with Andy Goldsworthy. I knew nothing about him, but a friend recently recommended the documentary rivers and tides and I was enthralled.

  4. I've seen the final art work and it looks fabulous!

    Worried about which tree is being chopped down????

  5. Wow...absolutely love this! I will definitely have to give this one a try. The outcome was beautiful! The blues are so pretty.

    :( I'm sad about the tree too....any tree that gets cut down for no apparent reason is just sad.

  6. Wow! I love the final project and the entire idea. Very creative! I will have to try this one out. It looks like it would have been fun to watch during the entire melting process.

    :( I'm sad about the tree too. Any time a tree is cut down for no apparent reason is just sad!

  7. hahahah! Okay, so I may have just posted twice. I know you'll understand since we are both Blogger Babies! ;P

  8. It's so reassuring to have another 'Blogger Baby' - but I'm also a Facebook Baby. As you can see, I somehow got myself on as a follower on my own blog and can't delete it.

  9. I can't wait to see the finished one.

  10. It's just struck me what the green one makes me think of ... Christmas!


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