Making a Splash: Spectacular Liquid Drop Art
As radical modern trends continue to demonstrate every day, art can come in any form you can imagine. With every new advancement in technology or innovation, the possibilities expand even further. Artistic endeavors that would have been impossible twenty years ago are now being explored and discovered for the first time. Corrie White is one such artist, and her liquid drop photography is a fascinating example of how something simple can be made spectacular if looked at from the right perspective.
Corrie White is a Dutch artist who now lives in Canada, where she has become a full-time artist. Her work is quite variable, and she does more than liquid drop art, but there is something particularly special about this facet of her work. The tools, as might be expected, are a medicine dropper, a drip kit, any food coloring she might need, and her photography equipment. Every time a drop of water strikes the surface of another liquid, there will be some sort of physical reaction, and capturing that instant in time proves to be worth the effort. Corrie White is self-taught, and began working with liquid drop art after seeing a tutorial online. She has now become a highly respected figure in this surprisingly popular niche of art and photography.
At first, the concept at first seems quite limited. After all, how many different ways can water pop, burst, and bend? However, as White's ever-growing body of work proves, there really is no limit to how many variations there can be within this seemingly narrow task. By timing the release of multiple drops, she can achieve double or even triple interactions between the successive ripples and reactions. By adding special lighting, food coloring, or thickening agents, she has been able to orchestrate thousands of different images. The uncertainty and impossibility of complete control mean that no two shots will ever be the same, and if she manages to do something unique and amazing, there is no guarantee that she will ever be able to do it again.
Although capturing these stunning images requires a healthy dose of technological know-how, there is no digital manipulation of the images; the only forces acting on the whimsical shapes and extraordianry forms are gravity and the impact of other water droplets. While the concept behind this style of art is relatively obvious, there are certain "innovations" that she has come up with. Her three drop splash technique has produced some of her most interesting images to date, and she has also tried combining different types of liquids in suspensions and mixtures to capture the mesmerizing swirls and unpredictable movements of colors and shapes.
In terms of actual artistic impact as an artist, this liquid drop photography is interesting because Corrie White is basically an organizer, placing all of the elements properly to make sure that if something beautiful is created, she will capture it perfectly. However, the actual moment of creation is removed from her control. The slightest movement in the air or a tremor on the surface of the water has just as much of an impact on the final product as her intentional manipulations. At a certain point, she relinquishes artistic control and lets natural forces of physics take over. There are not many styles of art that requires an artist to be involved in every aspect of the creative process except for the most important instant of creation. It would be like an artist setting up an easel, mixing all of the paints, choosing a subject, and then letting someone else actually put the brush to the canvas.
Besides the liquid drop art, she also creates what she calls "Liquid Flows", and the images she is able to capture are unbelievabe. Some of them look like photographs of distant galaxies snapped with the Hubble Telescope, while others are just mysterious, hazy puzzles of form and color, showing that the entropy and chaos of the universe can and does create beautiful things without any help from the human sense of aesthetics. The possibilities for this variety of her work is even broader, as she can add more colors, capture larger interactions and increase the depth of focus to make more complex photographs. Just as with the liquid drops, she may be the manipulator and the facilitator of the project, but randomness is the source of the action itself. Some would argue that being an artist requires more control over the output, but there are many artists who claim to "lose control" when they are at their artistic best, including jazz musicians, poets, and artists. Some artists physically release control, while others psychologically release it during the ultimate moment of creative bliss; I don't see either one as being any more or less legitimate of an effort.
Some artists are interested in creating something entirely new that no one in the world has ever seen or even imagined. Other artists, like Corrie White, are more interested in looking at something that already exists in a new way. We see raindrops falling all the time, and the drops of water in our showers plop gracefully to the floor without ever being noticed. Artists like Corrie White are essential, because they remind us that there is beauty all around us, as long as we open our eyes to see it. Having an extremely powerful camera also helps, but that doesn't diminish the principle of her artistic value.
If you want to see even more of Corrie White's stellar photographs of impossibly beautiful liquid drop art, then visit her website or purchase her new eBook, which was released earlier this year!
Still Looking for Something Spectacular? Keep reading about more of my favorite artists who tend to create Art Outside the Lines. Also, follow me on Twitter and Google+ for all of my weekly updates about the wonderful world of art.
All images are subject to copyright by the artist.