Fountain Pen Ink and Bleach! What’s the point?

I frequently receive messages like this:

“I’ve seen a bunch of your ink tests over the months and one thing I’m unclear on is – how do we use these for our ink selection? Does mixing with bleach and water inform something about an ink that everyday users should know? Or consider when selecting an ink? I feel like you put a lot of effort into these and there’s something to learn here but I’m just not sure what that is.”

Well, what I’m doing here is all part of an art based project. Fountain pen inks often reveal hidden colour hues when blended with water and can react with bleach in a magical gold and neon light way. To help illustrate this, here is a link to a swatch test for some deAtramentis inks: https://quinkandblea…is-inks-review/ in particular check out the ebony swatch! As a direct result of the beautiful possibilities this ebony swatch test revealed, I then went on the create this: https://quinkandblea…ramentis-ebony/ and there are many other examples on my website of finding something quirky happening in a swatch test and then creating an artwork around this unique behaviour:

I honestly do consider fountain inks to be a genuine hidden gift, with creative possibilities that billions of pen using people are blissfully unaware of. It’s about exploration and experimentation – about getting a lot from so little. I don’t know what’s going to happen next – that’s why I do it. My swatches and blog posts are not directly aimed at handwriting and fountain pen enthusiasts, and not everything in life has to have a purpose. What I do may be deemed as irrelevant, but in its own abstract way, I believe it does add a little something to the overall visual experience and when you get the hang of it, fountain pen inks not only serve as the main medium for written communication but can also give watercolorists, fine artists and illustrators a run for their money! Just saying.

Of Note: The abstract image shown was created using Quink black ink and bleach on Bockingford watercolour paper. I used a giant home made brush – which is how I achieved the fabulous abstract giant brush marks. When loaded with ink…. it’s heavy! (See image below for Big Brush in action!)