Based in Istanbul, artist Garip Ay (previously) utilizes traditional ebru techniques—a method of paper marbling that involves dripping oil paint into water—to create rich artworks with incredibly complex motifs. Ay’s process recently was captured by Great Big Story in a short video that walks through his studio and documents how the artist seamlessly morphs one work into another with just a few hand motions.
After completing a piece on the water’s surface, Ay transfers the image to paper, wood, or textiles by dipping it in and slowly pulling back. Despite the meditative quality of his movements, though, the artist shares the pressures of the medium. “When people watch ebru, they think it is relaxing and soothing, but it my personal experience, it is really stressful. While doing ebru, you have control problems because you’re doing something on water,” he says. As shown, a drop too many could alter the entire piece.