Monday, May 21, 2012

Quake Mandala gets an upgrade from Posca Paint Markers

I just bought a set of ultra fine Posca paint markers from I have not as a rule, been a fan of paint markers. I've tried several kinds, (Krink & Sharpie) and they just didn't work out for me. For the tiny white detail work you may have seen on some of my other pieces, I'd been using a white Uni-Ball Signo gel pen - which had to be fixed with acrylic spray as the ink wasn't waterproof. (Posca markers are water based acrylic.)

It was when I just bought another batch of the white pens (also from that I decided to try the Poscas. The ink flows and has a consistency like none other I've tried. I absolutely "MUST" get more as they have seemingly filled in a missing element to my work.

"Quake" mandala as previously "Finished"
And so this, which was previously "finished" last year,

"Quake" mandala after I added a bit with my new Posca markers.
Became this.

"Quake" mandala after I added a bit with my new Posca markers.P5191039
In the last five and a half years I've literally made thousands of mandalas in all different kinds of media but in the beginning, most were created with fountain pens, drawing pens and markers. Using a "writing" implement has always made me feel most comfortable as it lets me work quickly. Quickly meaning that I could easily drop into the meditative state that the repetitive nature of mandala creation encourages in me.

Working with acrylic paint has at times been both gratifying and frustrating. Gratifying because of being able to work bigger, with lots of bold colors, and also to play with textures within the paint. Frustrating because of my lack of dexterity with a brush. I know that comes with practice but it has in some ways made me feel like something was missing from my work. Sitting and working with the markers on this piece for several hours led me back to that meditative place and I am *ecstatic* just thinking about the possibilities in combining the two elements.

This piece is currently available for purchase - please message me for details. 

*This piece was named "Quake" because it was literally finished moments before the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the east coast last year on August 23rd at 1:51 pm. After cleaning out my brushes and putting my paints away, I went upstairs to lay down and take a nap. I wasn't on the bed 5 seconds when I felt it move- once, twice.... watched my floor fan start rocking back and forth, then felt like the house was twisting. My brain went through about 20 different scenarios (neighbor's washing machine walking, gas line explosion..) before setting upon earthquake. EARTHQUAKE?!? I jumped up, grabbed my glasses and phone stood in the doorway (I think that's what you are supposed to do in an earthquake) but then said out loud "Fuck this!" and went running down the stairs and barefoot out the front door. I still wasn't sure what was happening but as I watched the power lines swaying back and forth I knew I wasn't crazy. Phone in hand I kept trying to dial 911 - busy.. Busy? WTF! I finally get through and they say they don't know what it is yet. I jump on Facebook then Twitter from my phone. My friends all along the east coast and up to Canada are reporting having felt the same things. It blew me away to have actually experienced an earthquake in eastern Pennsylvania.

Now please excuse me while I go buy more pens.


ginigin said...

I love the upgrade on Quake, the details really shook it up. I am interested in the posca pens and wondered about how well they cover acrylic paint. They seem to be opaque in your photo. I'm looking for something opaque that can go over everything in my art journal and not get stopped up. How did you find out that they are acrylic? I went to Jetpens and they list it as pigment without mentioning the base. Love your mandalas and how you are making them more well known as an art form.

Stephanie "Biffybeans" Smith said...

Hi Gingin - thanks for your kind words about Quake! JetPens says the Posca pens are a water based pigment but all the other sites that have them for sale call them water based acrylic. They seem to have been designed for outdoor use so to me, they can't really be anything but acrylic. And yes. They are opaque - but one thing that I haven't seen mentioned before is that they are matte and not glossy. (For what it's worth...)

ginigin said...

Glad that they are matte. I read on one site that they are removable from nonporous surfaces. Have you tried removing them from an acrylic paint surface? I have had a problem with some markers not staying put and permapaque aren't all that opaque, at least not the white. I want something that stays put. Thanks for other info.

Stephanie "Biffybeans" Smith said...

I haven't really tried putting these through any tests, but what I did do was read a number of reviews from people all over the world who seem to rely on their quality...

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