Most artists have favorite colors and use them often in their paintings. That said, it’s important for artists to grow outside their comfort zones. One way is to use colors or materials that we wouldn’t normally use. For me, nothing is further outside my comfort zone than the color pink. I hate pink. I don’t own a single item in that color. Not a sock, an earring, or a hair barrette. I have systematic banned pink from my life.
However, last week my husband bought me a case of pink golf balls. PINK GOLF BALLS! Who thinks of these things? And it got me thinking too. What would be a really hard art challenge for me? You’ve got it…using a lot of pink in a painting.
So here it is, my newest painting…INTERSTELLAR. While I am not ready to hang this in my own home, I’ve warmed up to pink a little more. Enough that I’ll be giving those pink golf balls a try!
Many of my poured acrylic works show cellular structures. These cells remind me of the quote by Peace Pilgrim, “We are all cells in the same body of humanity”.
In the current political climate, there is such division between people, especially on the major issues of gun control, environmental stewardship, military action, and social matters. What many forget is that we are all in this together. If we participate in a nuclear war, we all suffer. If we allow harmful pollutants into our environment, we are all at risk. We need to work TOGETHER in our quest for a peaceful, healthy life on this planet.
For the past couple months, I have been experimenting with creating paintings where the paint is poured onto the canvas instead of applied with a paintbrush. My two daughters thought it would be fun to try this style of painting too. The video below shows my daughter Darby making her first acrylic poured painting. Either I am an incredible teacher, or she has an innate talent because she rocked it on her first try!
Summer is a time of artistic exploration for me. I spend most of the season in Colorado (out of the New York City heat) where I have a small studio with only a hand full of art supplies. I find having fewer art materials to work with helps me to be more creative with the ones I do have.
I have been wanted to try my hand at acrylic poured paintings. It is a technique where the acrylic paint is poured directly onto the canvas and mingles together into interesting compositions. With only limited control over the paint, every pour gives a different result. Adding other materials (alcohol, silicone, PVAc, and more) to the pour also changes the look of the painting. Even the paints’ opacity and density is a factor that alters the final product.
Working with all these variables has made the creation of these painting more an exercise in chemistry than art. More challenging than I thought, I’ve encountered a number of problems. These problems include:
Crazing – This is where the top layer of the paint dries faster than the bottom layers and causes cracking of the paint surface. This is most likely from the paint being too thick (solution: thin paint) or from not pouring enough of the excess paint off the canvas (solution: leave a thinner layer of paint on canvas.)
Broken paint cells – I add silicon to the paint to create these cells. I am either mixing the silicon into the paint too vigorously (solution: gently, lightly stir in silicone), or trying to over-extend the paint by tilting the canvas too long (solution: use more paint).
Muddy color – I get dirty, brown colors when complementary colors (red+green=mud) mix into each other (solution: be careful of which colors are poured next to each other) and over-manipulating the paint on the canvas (solution: don’t tilt the paint on the canvas back and forth over itself.)
I find I’m getting closer to my intentions with every try but I still have a long way to go. Once I have the technical aspects worked out, I will post a video so you can see the process in action. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them. Advice is always appreciated.