Warm Up


Like an athlete, I do warm-up (or practice) sheets in the marbling tank, stretching memory muscle and calibrating hand-eye coordination, before diving into "real" tank work.


I'm also testing my bath and paints to see how they are behaving. Like us, a new day means a new personality for both of them and things that worked well yesterday may not today. Warming up is about getting into the groove.


Many times, these practice pieces turn out to be some of my favorite pieces, partly because I have no expectations of them and partly because I don't think too hard about things and just let my creative instinct (and eight years of marbling experience!) take the lead.

Practice Piece


I always start a marbling session with a couple of practice pieces. I'm testing the bath to see what it's doing and how the paints behave on it. But I'm also stretching my marbling muscles ~ like a singer who does vocal warm ups. Marbling is more physically demanding than most people realize and there are certain techniques that require superb hand-eye coordination so I want my body and my mind to be at the same place when I start working on the real stuff.

The thing is...usually these practice pieces end up being something really good. Something that actually makes me pause and go, "Oh, wow! That turned out great!" even though I'm not trying to do something good. I don't even think that hard about what colors I use, just grabbing the four of five closest to me and running with it.

Today's practice piece is no exception. I love it. I love the colors and how the design turned out. I guess I'm more conscious about my practice pieces than I realize...and that perhaps eight years of marbling experience coupled with not having any expectations from these first few pieces really frees up the creative mojo. And that's when magic slips in.

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