The Acheron in Winter 2020
I made this walnut ink in my studio from the walnut tree that grows outside my studio here in Buxton where I spent the Covid-19 Lockdown.This is something I have wanted to do for years but it takes time and the Lockdown gave me that time. I boiled the skins that en-case the walnut shell on the top of my wood heater in the studio, some still had the walnut inside the shell as these had been nipped off prematurely by the cockatoos. After boiling for some time I squeezed the pulp, strained the liquid, then reduced it by boiling until the liquid became strong in tone, then added some vinegar to help preserve the ink but I didn’t want to dilute my ink too much. I put some in plastic bottles and some I poured into ceramic containers to dry out. The liquid in the containers was fine to use in the next week or so but I found it grew some mildew, so I poured it into ceramic containers and let it dry. It is easy to use as a wet brush activates the ink. I experimented with using it with a fine brush and goose quill, painting wild flowers, the river and even this little rushed portrait of my granddaughter using a goose quill. I found it worked well with a wonderful rich tonal range and comparing it with the American Walnut Ink I once bought in the USA which is blacker I liked the warm glow of its colour.