Pouring Paint and Creating Cells

White Water I

I have created a number of paintings over the years using a poured paint technique. Check out the Sun Dance Triptych on my abstract gallery page as an example.

After seeing some other artists’ work on You Tube, I decided it was time to try create cells while pouring paint. I would become somewhat of a chemist and use alcohol, silicone, specific gravity and simple manipulations.

White Water I is my first attempt. While it is a successful painting of white water, with lots of action and movement, notice that there are very few or no cells.

This one below was created using the swiping technique. I put paint colours on the bottom in vertical layers, white paint on top and then swiped the white down through the bottom colours. This one was fairly successful in creating cells. I further enhanced them by  painting “in” in some areas.

White Water III





This next untitled one was created by pouring paint over an old mixed media collage on paper. The colours are lovely and the texture is very interesting. I painted back into it to enhance the few cells I got.








But I wanted to try to create cells using a dirty pour. This consists of mixing up paint with pouring medium,  alcohol and silicone to the desired consistency, then putting paint colours into one cup, alternating layers of different colours and adding silicone to some of the layers if it has not already been added. Then I invert the board, canvas or paper on top of the cup, turn it upside down and let the paint run out. After letting the paint rest a bit and spread a bit on its own (a fabulous visual experience), I use a blow torch to help create cells. Then I tip and tilt the canvas very carefully to encourage the paint to run, enlarging the cells and stretching the design. Since I am such a Scrooge with my paint, I hate to see it run off the edges and be wasted. So I probably am limiting myself and what I can achieve.

At this point I was frustrated and discouraged so I gave it a rest for a few days.

Cell Success II

Then I tried again. This time I was successful!!!! Notice the cells that formed on the bottom. Since I did not use enough paint in my cup (Scrooge again) and my paint was still too thick, it refused to run up to the top even when I tilted my board dramatically. I then had to salvage the painting by adding  more pigment layers to another cup and pouring it on the top. Then, I blew the paint around and out with a straw which integrated the two sections until I covered the surface completely.

What did I do differently? The experts say to change only one thing at a time and carefully record your process so you will know what to repeat. This is so not me! I am too impatient. What I may have done differently was to use less viscous colours and perhaps more liquid silicone.

My next 2 attempts were using very different and vibrant colours. The one on the left already had an orange corner from and earlier painting.  I poured the paint on from the dirty cup in ribbons across my surface (rather than inverting it). I left the upper left hand corner as it was when tilting the paint to make it flow. It is good design to leave a quiet area where the eye can rest. So to me it looks like a very active volcanic eruption or some such disturbed landscape. using the same colours, the one on the right is the consequence of an inverted dirty pour cup. it looks a bit like a leopard or like a new world forming. I will keep trying a I like this process very much. As always your comments are appreciated.

Cell Success III

“Inchoate Galaxy” , 8 x 10 in.

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