Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Thinking Out Loud

Discovering ways to make my abstract acrylics pop with emotion and take the viewer by surprise. I'm sort of leaning towards seascapes, the sea coast, shore, or beach - whichever you prefer to call it. I love the texture of sand, surf and foam, the sweet green colors that range from teal to sage, seaweed, sand dollars and crabs for a hint of orange-brown for contrast. How I love the waves that crash endlessly upon the sand, some dark and ominous and others pale in comparison and submissive to earth.

I love the look of encaustic - but have no desire to catch the house on fire again using hot plates to melt wax, blow torches, butane torches or other fire-y sorts of tools and techniques. So how can I recreate these encaustic-like paintings that reflect the true nature and texture of the coast? Well...

Doing some research, it looks like Liquitex offers all sorts of texture mediums to mix with the paint, so like in ecaustics, mixing sand with the wax and color, I can add the Liquitex to my acrylics to achieve that same beautiful texture to my non-encaustic paintings. YAY!

Their "effects mediums" line includes the following (found here!):

Black Lava
Fabric Effects
Ceramic Stucco
Blended Fibers
Natural Sand
Resin Sand
and more!

I'm going to order some of these and experiment - watch for the latest developments here!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Dirty to Clean Pours.. and more!

More Dirty Pour Paintings...

Autumn Falls

Blue Chase

Blue Velvet

Sutter Hill, CA

Brain Waves

Sea Foam





  1. Mix the paint exactly the same as for dirty pours except no Floetrol or silicone. Just paint, pouring medium and water.
  2. Prepare canvas the same way.
  3. I pour the paint (of each color) directly on the canvas and move the canvas around for it to move in the direction I want it to go.
  4. For the following painting, Malloy's Lake (Inspired by an art print by Matthew Malloy), I poured red, yellow, fuchsia, blue and white in diagonals across the top 2/3 of the canvas. Then I titled the painting so that the colors would mix and combine to create this awesome sunset. 
  5. I let that set up for about 4 hours before I poured the bottom third of the canvas. That would be stripes of green, brown, yellow, and light brown. These would be diagonal but not as extreme as the sky was. I was trying to get the look of fields and a meadow.
  6. When it was dry, I painted with black-brown mixture of acrylic the small hills and trees. On the bottom third I added a little brushwork in brown to indicate plant growth.

Malloy's Lake


Poured Acrylics - How to do them

Hello art lovers!

Laila asked me a great question in my last post about the way to do poured acrylic paintings so here is the description of that technique (how I do it, anyway!) And more photos of work I've done since the last post are coming next.

Mixing the Paint for a "Dirty Pour" - Next Post: "Doing a Clean Pour"
I mix artist acrylic paint with Floetrol - an indoor/outdoor flow medium used for house painters - you could use something Liquitex Pouring Medium but I don't get the results I like as much. I buy Floetrol at the hardware store. I use small paper cups that are waxy so that the paint does not soak through. 1 cup holds about 2 oz of each color. I mix about 10 colors when I'm about to pour 6-8 canvases at the same time. I mix about 1 tablespoon of floetrol to 3 tablespoons of paint. Once that is blended, I mix it 50/50 with water or maybe a little less water - I want it to still be creamy but "pourable" almost like salad dressing. Once that is blended, I let it sit for about 10 minutes so that all the bubbles will dissipate as they cause the painting to bubble and show the canvas. Then I add 3 drops of silicone. I use Treadmill Belt silicone from amazon.com. This will create "cells" in the paint to form achieving a wide variety of color, blending and definition. I mix that in. Then I chose a set of colors that I think will work well together in an abstract - and ones, when mixed together will not be the color of dirt (mud). I choose no more than 4-5 colors. If you want contrast, add black and white (mixed separately). Sometimes for big impact you only want 2-3 colors. If I don't use white in the "pour" then I will hand blow the white over the painting after it dries a little. Experimentation is key. The paint, the medium, the silicone, the canvas all add up to different results - so you have to experiment and find what works for you and your environment.

Pouring the Paint
To pour, I take a larger waxy-paper cup that holds about 4 oz and I begin to layer the paint in it. Knowing the specific weight of the paint from the manufacturer is good because you want to layer it heaviest on the bottom with the lightest paints on top so that when turned upside down, they will "travel" through one another and create the cells. White is the heaviest color for the paint that I use. It will end up on the bottom because of it's weight so I put it in the cup first so that it will be on top at the time I pour it out. After white, you layer your colors once, twice, or even three times, depending on the effects you are looking to create. You can also end with white again, or another color.
Set up your canvas to pour: arrange upside small paper cups to support your canvas. I do this inside of an aluminum broiler pan I buy at the dollar store - you usually get 2 for $1. I have about 10 of these pans. When I'm done with the pour, I put a paper towel over the spilled paint in the bottom and let it dry that way - making a clean surface for the next pour.

I place as many upside down cups to support the canvas that I'm pouring on in the plan, place the canvas to ensure everything is where I want it. I pick up the canvas and turn it over and center it on the cup - turn the whole thing upside down with the canvas resting on the cups with the cup of paint upside down sitting on the canvas. I count to 10 very slowly and begin to life the cup off the canvas. the paint will ooze out and run all over - sometimes I have to move the paint a bit with the cup or a painting knife in order to cover the entire canvas - sometimes I don't make it cover everything as that might be the effect I'm looking for. You, as the artist figure out what you like and do it the way you want. When the cup is lifted completely and all the paint has come out, set it aside and after about 60 seconds, if you desire, tilt the  canvas this way and that so that the paint will run all over the edges and then place back down on the cups. You can then move some of the paint around using a straw by blowing through it directly onto the paint to get it to move - often revealing other colors beneath and this will also form more cells. You can also use a butane torch to heat up the paint and create the silicone to create large cells. I set my studio on fire using the torch so Mr. Chase took it away from me. I still get large cell effects from the Floetrol and Silicone. If you want a little more action, experiment with alcohol (90%. 70% does not work well.) Place the alcohol in a small spritzer bottle and spritz on the painting to create "spots". Dribble alcohol from your fingers for larger cells. Let the painting dry for at least 24 hours before touching or moving.

Finish the Painting
Then I use a Gloss Medium with Varnish over everything. You can also use a Matte Varnish finish if you like. What's nice is if you use stretched canvas, the sides have the same colors and cells that have slipped down, so you can hang your painting any which way you like, depending on how you want to look at it - but it's completely finished on all 5 sides - no  need to frame! What I truly love about this technique is that you get the most wondrous things happening in the paint - like the heart shape that suddenly appeared in the 2nd to last photo in my last post.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Poured Acrylics - What's it all about?

I was so surprised discovering all about Poured Acrylic paintings 3 weeks ago. I've since created over 40 of them and love each one for different reasons - here are some photographs! Thanks for stopping by - hoping you are enjoying your July!!

Inspired by the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Campfire Smoke

Dark Shadows


Forest Fire

Gold Pool

 Grand Canyon


Lavender Dreams

Malloy's Lake

Mt. Saint Helens

 Nile River

 This one was too big to scan in on my printer - so it's dark and murky - turn it sideways to the left and it's a surfer's Pacific Curl.

 Purple Poppy

Reminds me of Saturn - don't know why - so it's name is: Saturn.


The gold is not real apparent on this one - but it's there - and therefore
appropriately named: Sutter Hill.

Teal River

 Teal Wonder

 My Favorite - NOT FOR SELL

 The Serpent

Unicorn Soup - why not? :-)

Violet Lace

Violet Lava

Violet Volcano
Just happened to have a cell turn into a heart at the end! WOW. I like that. 

When I tried it again, I just got sea foam. :-)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Wow - it's been a while - eh?

Since March we've been decorating our new retirement home, landscaping and just enjoying life, in general!

I was so unmotivated to paint lately, but did a couple of online workshops and watched a couple of youtube videos to gain some inspiration. Pinterest helps too.

So I've been dabbling. This painting was inspired by Tim Wilmot. It's a copy of his painting demo, so I want to be sure to credit him!
Reminds me of walking around in York, England where the modern blends with the historical so well,

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Move is Complete and We are Settled!

Thanks for stopping by! I've been gone because we moved to our new home in the first quarter of 2015!

It's weird when you've dreamed of something for so long, and you've planned every little detail, and you watched it be built, and you tire of waiting...you just can't imagine of the time that you'll actually have it. Well, after an entire year (we started on January 11, 2014) of looking at homes, making the decision to build, designing our floor plan, waiting for permits, watching the house slowly be erected, closed in and finished, we closed on January 29, 2015.

The move was uneventful - we had anticipated moving in December so we'd packed the majority of our things back on Thanksgiving weekend. Then the longest, arduous wait began. The completion date kept slipping, and finally it was done. The movers showed up on time and did the move. Nothing broken or damaged.

More amazingly than the year's wait and a 16-hour move, is the fact that we built our dream home. Exactly what we wanted. Our furniture is lovely arranged just as we imagined and the paintings on the walls are perfect. It's just perfect and we could not be happier.

My new studio is also perfect - a place for everything and a huge, organized closet of art supplies is a dream come true.

We are completely unpacked and settled and my father is currently visiting from California. Next week I get to begin painting again. I've missed it so!

Looking forward to rejoining Paint Party Friday!

Friday, December 26, 2014

New Beginnings

With next week being the beginning of a new year, I've decided to step out of my comfort zone and do some paintings of things I wouldn't normally do - using techniques that I haven't used before. The way we learn and grow is by stepping outside the box and reaching for new heights.

As a beginning artist (I'm a 1-year old), I have so much to learn, but I find I get stuck in a rut just painting the same things over and over again and while I see improvement, I am bored. There are only so many flowers I can paint in a year. What really gives me energy and stamina to keep on going is to paint those things I've had an adventure around - so travel, doing something fun, and painting from my own photos is what gives me energy. When I know the story about what I'm painting I just can't seem to get enough. Where I'd really like to go next is painting dancers. My husband and I do ballroom dancing - it's wonderful! I've never done "people" before so this will be interesting and you'll see my first attempt below.

So this week, being Christmas week I did a few quick paintings. One is of Waddesdon Manor near London. The other I did using masking fluid to create a woodsy scene. For both of these I was experimenting with Twinkling H2Os, luminescent water color paint from ColourArte (http://www.colourarte.com/). I'm always wanting to learn more about shadow and light so that is what these two paintings are all about. Bringing pieces of the painting forward and leaving the rest in the background. Making shadows and creating light. Oh, so many painters out there make it look so easy to do but it's the one thing I struggle with the most.

I also did not want to paint the building a horrible limestone color. I like for my paintings to reflect emotion, so I went with the colors to make it feel happy but regal - it was a happy time to visit the manor and the woods also make me happy. So that's why all the color!

The third painting is my first "dancers" painting. I think it turned out pretty good - It was difficult to control the Twinks from a flesh color perspective. I will need to figure out how best to paint flesh in the future - could be I need to use normal watercolor paints - although I really like the sparkle effect on the female dancer's tights! I also now see that the painting was not entirely flat on the scanner so there are some shadows in the upper right and right side.

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave me a comment - thanks so much.

Posting to Paint Party Friday, Friday Sketches and Art Journal Every Day (see the links on the right). Happy New Year!