Liquid Alchemy

If you’ve ever come to Food & Thought, perhaps you’ve noticed the large works of abstract art decorating the walls of the Thoughtful Threads building. These works were made by Naples native artist Leland Brinkman. We sat down with Leland and asked him a little bit about his art and inspiration.

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What do you call your art?
I call it “Liquid Metal Alchemy.” I’ve always liked abstract art, and I wanted to make some of my own, but with an organic process, so I came up with the idea of using liquid metals and salt-based acids to do it.

How did you come up with the idea for your process?
I was inspired while I was welding. There was something beautiful about the way metals rust and react with the air. As far as I know, there are no other artists using the same process that I use.

How exactly does it work?
First I put on some good music, then I mix the metals and acids and spread them out over a canvas made of wood. 72 hours later, you get to see the colors – bronze, copper, rust, etc. I won’t know what the finished product will look like until after that time period. Different variables have an effect on how it comes out too, like temperature, humidity, a slight breeze, and so on.

How long have you been making art this way?
I have been involved in interior art (painting, faux finishing) for years. I started doing Liquid Metal Alchemy in January, 2012 at my studio in Naples.

Who are your influences?
A lot of artists come to mind. I’d say mainly Ran Adler and Carmelo Blandino.

Are you finding the artistic community in Naples supportive of your work?
Absolutely. Everybody is very supportive and helps out where they can. In fact, I’m having my first show at the Gardner Colby Gallery in town soon.

Thank you, Leland, for sitting down with us. We look forward to seeing your show.

For more information on Leland Brinkman’s art and upcoming events, visit