11x14” acrylic on canvas ($150 unframed)
This is a very different style of painting for me. I rarely paint abstract, but decided to take a break from animals yesterday. Not sure why I don't do it more often because it is fun. It was just the distraction I needed and a blast to paint.
I had done the first 2 layers of this painting, set it aside and started something else. I was looking through my paintings this week deciding what to take for the sale at the Loft Gallery in Occoquan, VA. and I found it. It was too busy and too red. I looked for areas to block out as quiet spots and added more shadows for depth.
If you think you'd like to give this method a try, I recommend checking out Mary Todd Beams' “The Creative Edge”. I had the privilege of taking one of Mary's workshop a few years ago. She is such a talented painter, delightful, lovely person, and very generous about sharing her techniques in her workshops. My favorite was Mary's "spreading" technique which I used it to paint "Mob Flash."
Use a mix of fluid acrylics to bead and blend colors on your choice of white surface. Drop color along the top of your surface, 2-3 colors work well. Then use a "Spreader" to spread the paint which stains your surface. A "spreader" can be any hard plastic tool with a straight side. I like to use small grout spreader or credit card. Then the magic happens. You can pull the paint straight down or move your spreader back and forth to create pattern. The width of the spreader will not be the width of your surface so you will make multiple pulls. That makes the stains more interesting. After each pull, wipe/clean off your spreader and pull again until the entire surface is covered. If you have some white showing that is OK. Once you've pulled the paint, let that first layer dry. Now look for shapes and figures. You will be surprised to see birds, fish or figures. You bring any of the shapes you want to keep to life using opaque paints.
The staining technique works on canvas, crescent board or any type of fabric. Black fabric looks great. If you are using fabric pull the fabric tight over a piece of cardboard. You may need to tape in to keep it tight.
I hope you try it. It really is fun.