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Astuary Art by Marissa Recker

Marissa Recker is an abstract fluid artist living in Madison, USA. She creates to express herself and explore through creating ink art.   

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ー Would you introduce yourself?

Hello my name is Marissa Recker of Astuary Art and I create abstract fluid art originals.. I am in Madison, WI, USA and I love painting! I have always loved creating but officially started Astuary Art about four years ago. When I am not painting I enjoy spending time with my family and doing agility with my three corgis.

ー What made you start Alcohol Ink Art? What is your background as an artist?

Around the time I decided to pursue art full time a friend told me about how fun Alcohol inks are. I saw some in the store one day and decided to give them a try. I was immediately hooked! My only professional teaching was in high school. I had a very special art teacher who encouraged me to pursue art. I owe her so much!


ー What inspires you? What is the theme / motif of your artworks?

I am inspired by the emotional connection to colors. I like to use color to tell stories and evoke specific emotions. I also am inspired by the change in seasons. My color choices often will reflect what season it is where I live.

ー Could you tell us about your current and past artwork series?

My work has evolved over the years but has always included alcohol inks. My pieces began as smaller works where my main goal was to master techniques. Once I felt more comfortable with the nature of inks I began creating on a larger scale, adding more materials, and incorporating specific messages. My most recent series are “Awakening” and “Rest”. In Awakening my hope was to express the special joy that comes from making it through a difficult time or situation. I expressed this with many bright and vibrant purples and strong movement to symbolize growth. My new series Rest focuses on the importance of self care and reflection through the use of many deep and calming blues.


ー In what aspects do you find joy and happiness in ink art?

The vibrancy of inks is unparalleled. I find so much joy in how the colors move and flow! I also love how versatile they are. I am always learning more about them and how they interact with other mediums.

ー Could you tell us about your ink art class ?

One of my personal goals is to provide as much information as possible on what I know about inks. I have a youtube channel that I am hoping to expand in the near future. I am currently teaching students all over the world through Zoom. I am beginning topic focused classes such as ink for beginners, mixed media, and ink on canvas. I also will continue to do one on one zooms that are catered to each student.

ー In Copic colors, what do you recommend? Why do you like it?

These are my top favorite colors, they all fade beautifully with isopropyl alcohol! Top 9 all time favorites: RV69, E04, R20, B99, BG78, BV23, V09, RV99, N7 Top 9 favorite cool colors: B69, B99, B34, BG72, BG78, G29, BV23, V09, RV99 Top 9 favorite warm colors: R89, RV69, E04, RV95, R24, R20, E19, E99, Y26

I have a free downloadable pdf of all of my Copic colors swatches on my website

ー What kind of paper do you use for ink art?

My favorite paper to use is heavy weight yupo made by Legion paper. Recently I have been preferring to work on canvas and linen. My favorite canvas to work on with inks is Fredrix watercolor canvas.

ー What tools do you recommend for ink art?

When working with inks the most important tools you need besides the ink itself are pipettes and isopropyl alcohol (I use 91%). Those are the most essential tools to getting started, but you can also add a heat source (I use a heat gun), metallics, and many other media such as acrylics! The possibilities are endless!

ー Could you tell us about the process of creating ink art?

Working with inks is a special challenge of balancing spontaneity with intention. When starting a piece I often will have a specific idea but that idea will change as the piece evolves and as the inks flow.

ー What is important when creating ink art? Could you tell us any tips?

On a technical note, wearing gloves is important to protect your skin from absorbing any of the materials. I also recommend using more alcohol than you would expect to move the inks. The only way for the inks to flow is to have alcohol pushing and pulling the color. That is my biggest piece of advice to getting light and airy work.

ー When did you first start using Copic and what made you decide to use it?

I first decided to use Copics shortly after a friend recommended trying alcohol inks in 2018. I tried Copics initially because there were SO many color options, many of which are unavailable in other brands. After trying them I saw quickly that they blend and dry with much more consistency and beauty than other brands that I had tried. I have tried many other brands since and Copic continues to be the best in my opinion!

ー What do you think about Copic Ink?

Copic ink is my personal favorite brand of alcohol ink. I think the product quality is unparalleled. There is an immense difference in the ability of Copics to blend and move with isopropyl alcohol that does not exist in other brands of ink. The color consistency is also very special. With other brands I will often see color separation as the alcohol interacts with the ink. This is very rare with Copics.

ー Could you tell us how to enjoy a framed beautiful ink art at home like the posts in your Instagram?

I display my works on paper in UV blocking glass frames with large mattes and I display my works on canvas in wood float frames. I love recommending ink art as anything from large statement art to small pops of color. Inks art has a calming presence that can be displayed in almost any space. I also love displaying pieces in groups of a few pieces, triptychs are my personal favorites!

ー Could you tell us about your future activities?

I am currently working on expanding my learning portal on my website. I am hoping to have free resources on everything from materials to techniques. I am also hoping to do more Art Sessions. An art session is where I record the creation of a piece from start to finish and narrate the process on youtube. Other than teaching my hope is to continue to explore the wonderful world of inks. I am constantly driven by what I don’t yet know.

ー Could we have your message or advice for people who want to start ink art?

My greatest piece of advice is to enjoy the process of creating. Inks are tricky but they reward persistence! I still have pieces thsat don’t work out, but as long as I learned something from the painting it was always worth it. There is no such thing as wasted paint!

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