When I first learned about fluid acrylic painting, I was taken by the simplicity of the medium. There seemed to be no talent needed, and nearly every piece I saw from any artist, looked terrific.
Then, I began watching online videos of artists who spent more time planning their pieces. Artists who rather than filling each cup in a seeming haphazard way, would select the colors and layers, and placement accordingly. I watched techniques involving hair dryers to enabled a smoke-like look, where the tendrils of color curled into the negative space.
I explored scientific approaches where the layers were considered according to the relative densities of each color, and the ratio of paint to pouring medium to water was controlled to achieve a desired look fo the “cells” that come to the surface.
This method includes layers of paint, a surface, movement, and time. Knowing I wanted a decent amount of negative space (which actually is painted white, not bare canvas) I found I needed thinner paint than I had expected. I also needed more than I would have thought. The placement and quantity of the original pour made a dramatic difference in the final outcome. Too much in too broad a pour and there was detail left dripping from the sides. Too little and it clung to the canvas, refusing to move like a defiant child.
Yet, when there was just enough – the right amount, placement, and consistency – the artist creates the highs and lows needed to coax the colors downward, stretch the striations and funnel the flow forward until the desired look is achieved.
I’m not sure the medium seems as simple as I once thought, and I think I’m comfortable with that uncertainty. Because what I do know, is that there is beauty in
This post was written as part of a monthly challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers, to encourage writing and community. While the goal is to write a Slice of Life entry each day throughout the month of March, distance and busyness made that reality less possible. An unexpected positive twist to the COVID-19 pandemic — the cancellations and recommendations to socially distance — means I have more margin in my schedule to write.