Going with the flow

I had time for some acrylic play yesterday!  I am always excited when I get to create and I find it mesmerizing pushing paint across a canvas, watching a creation evolve.  This piece did a lot of evolving and, once I let go of my pre-conceived notions, it was a pleasure to paint. I had a request for a couple of larger-scale pieces for an upcoming display and thought it was a great excuse to make something new.  The original design was going to be something similar to my other recent acrylic works, just on a much larger scale (30×40″ vs. 12×16″). I sketched in a rough design and got to work filling in the different areas with lots of thick paint.

Work in progress, image #1

Although the smaller pieces I had stuck with the black/white/red color scheme I changed it up a bit on this one and grabbed a bottle of shimmery copper instead (although it’s hard to see the metallic/copper color in some of these photos).

Work in progress, image #2

I used a palette knife to fill in most of the areas, along with a smaller brush for a few of the tight spots. What I discovered next is that, working with a larger piece results with a much dryer paint by the time you get around to blending the colors.  The smaller pieces were easy to swirl colors into each other and flowed together well.  I tried the swirl & flow but it just wasn’t happening.  Then I tried just swirling more paint on top of the first layer but I wasn’t really pleased with the result I got.

Work in progress, image #3

Hmmm. Now what? If that didn’t work I decided it was time to take the palette knife and a spatula and just start blending it into something new.  That is always a hard transition to go from a preconceived idea into just moving the paint by intuition! I was still a bit hesitant about what I was doing and it was feeling very forced at this point. Still not pleased it was time to go outdoors and just let it fly!

Work in progress, image #4

Propped up on the easel I began attacking it with my water bottle, letting the paint drip, mix and flow as it wished. Scraping, blending, adding colors here & there it began to emerge.

Work in progress, image #5

Now I was beginning to not only enjoy the process, but enjoy the results.  More color, more texture, more color, more texture, the layers began to build up into something interesting.

Work in progress, image #6

I was much happier than before but still didn’t feel like it had the “pop” that I was wanting.  Now it was time to just squeeze, splatter and pour on some finishing details!  First went the copper paint…it was close but not quite there yet.  I tend to need to have black as my finishing color on many of my acrylic works and this was no exception.  NOW, I was happy!  Here is an image of the piece after I’d applied the last of the paint.

Work in progress, final image (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker

As it’s sat on the easel drying I noticed that some of the paint has flowed downward so once it’s dry it may be a tad different than this image, but not much. As I watch it dry I am really exciting about the layers and texture of the paint in certain areas! I will take a couple close-up pictures as well as one of the piece when it’s dry to share with you another day.

Until then I hope you are take a moment to remember what you are thankful for during this holiday week…I am thankful that you took the time to read my ramblings and look at what I’ve been up to!

Sincere thanks & best wishes,


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