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Ephemeral Art

The art of the short lived, short term, transient, and disappearing.

Ephemeral Art is lost quickly, it may last mere seconds before changing or
 being lost to time, it could be art that can only be photographed once before
it is gone, or a dessert flower that opens and blooms for an hour before dying.
Ephemeral art is fleeting art that is often captured photographically otherwise
there would be no record of it ever existing at all.

The process is simple as turning ice to water and photographing the process of time, or as complicated as creating an environmental installation in nature and photographing or digitally documenting it's natural process of decaying. A artist to research for environmental ephemeral Art is Andy Goldworthy, a leader in the field. 

Here is a quick ephemeral work using ice cubes and paint.

Water with acrylic paint (you can use any paint or dye)  added to an ice cube tray and frozen. You only have a limited time for this ephemeral art process, especially if done on a hot summers day, so make sure your camera is ready to go before starting. And the ice make more mess when melted than you may think, so add a towel to soak up run away water.

You want to add your ice cubes to a piece of paper or to card stock if you wish to keep the final product.

Ice will start to quickly melt.

Make sure to add enough paint to the ice cubes when making them, so your paint makes an impact when the ice melts.

Photo as much or as little as you wish, you can make a great art sequence photograph by photographing at least 20 images from start to finish, then photoshop them all together.

Try to utilize colour schemes that work nicely together when blended, l used primary colours.

Don't forget to allow your sheet to dry totally for the lasting final photograph.

Other forms of Ephemeral Art

So let's have a look at some alternative forms of Ephemeral Art.

Photography done using car lights and stationary traffic lights, shop lights etc whilst utilizing quick lens rotation on a camera, changes or fractures the surrounding lights with interesting and exciting appeal. But you will never achieve the same photo no matter how many times you try it, that's the beauty of Ephemeral Art, it is fleeting.

Another creative way of using ice is to encase objects within it. Artist to research is Nicole Dextras, embeds old fashion clothing into large ice blocks than photographs them in very interesting ways. She also does environmental art forming old fashion dresses from nature. 

Here's a quick one l did on a much lower scale.

Makes for an interesting photograph, the way the ice cracks within the structure. This has lengths of wool knotted and encased

Ephemeral Water Art is another interesting way of creating fleeting art, a mix of water with borax water softener allows oil based enamel paint to sit on top of the water and and continue to move. The art works remain for mere seconds before continuing to change and transform into new and interesting artworks, allowing artists to capture hundreds of photo-graphical artworks from 1 minute of paint mixing on its own.

Ephemeral Art is loads of fun to do, just make sure you use oil based enamel paint, remember oil and water don't mix, that's why the paint can sit on the water and not mix with the water. Make sure you have the camera set up on a tri-pod for the best results, otherwise photos can be a blurry mess. Enamel paint is expensive and it would be disappointing to see your masterpieces and they are blurry. 

Natural Ephemeral art is a very popular form of art and one that even kids at home can do, and its as cheap as you wish it to be. 

This one was done in a few minutes at the beach using seaweed and crushed shells.

Ephemeral Fire Art, is a fantastic way to create an interesting sequence of photographs. Check out my blog on using fire in art to see how to do this.

You can create some awe inspiring images from mixing paintings and real fire.

You can even have magical mishaps like me...check out the smoke running man in this image.

Ephemeral Art, can be photographed from anything that is deemed as fleeting in time, or time depended before expiry. Think of it as this- "If l don't get a photograph now, will l see it in 1,2,3 seconds time, or if l came back tomorrow or in a week would it still be there looking the same. If your answer is no or probably not than photograph it before it is gone.



 

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