Last Saturday I was among more than 20 other artists who exhibited vibrant, brightly-colored artwork at the annual “Art in a Different Light” event at 111 Minna Gallery. This retro-inspired art show featured two rooms of work produced by local artists who reinvented the ‘60s and ‘70s psychedelic black light art scene with a contemporary twist. While the fluorescent neon paintings were entirely lit by black light, my phosphorescent pieces were displayed under a mixture of white and black lighting. It was possible to see the full variety of colors in my paintings because they received the optimal level of light in this exhibition. They really come to live when the black light hits the paintings. It spotlights luminescent details of the artwork and enriched the aesthetic experience. You discover psychedelic effects and unexpected approaches that drown you into a surreal world. It is a unique, visual experience!
When I heard about the black light exhibition, I was intrigued by the challenge of painting in the dark. It was the first time for me to paint with phosphorescent pigments. So it has been a lot of trial and error. After testing the paints my creation process changed. I found out that you lose the glowing effect if you mix the colors with your ordinary acrylics. And to make the colors pop you have to apply multiple layers. I used a flashlight to check my results more quickly in the dark. That was especially helpful when I started creating depth through texture and layering. Next time I want to work with invisible ink. I love the idea that the painting seems to be easy readable at first sight, but that there is a hidden message that only appears under black light or when it’s dark. There is always something more under the surface that you might want to explore!