A rather rich confection on this post as I show you some of the poured acrylics I’ve done. I bought some Floetrol and silicone oil and started pouring rather than the spreading I did with ‘Drop in the Ocean’ I posted on 30th October. Despite the Floetrol I am struggling with getting the paints to flow in the way I feel they should, but I think I now know the answer.
The two above are small, 6 inches square and I tried a bigger one about 20×14 inches, see below, but it was when I was struggling with the flowing issue, so I ended up holding the canvas and spun it sharply in the air to get the paint to cover the surface. I suppose in the same vein as one of Damien Hirst’s pizza paintings – though he got someone to do his on a turntable and, unfortunately, it wont command the same price.
Having just watched a programme on the making of the Sergeant Pepper album this has that rich psychedelic feel of the sixties era. I was wondering about putting a face on it – maybe for later.
Talking of later, I put out a post called the Archaeology of Paint in October. Since then I have added to it, so here is the latest version. I think it is more satisfying, but is it the finished article?
Anyway, I wont be adding to it anytime soon as am off to Namibia and then on to Cape Town and the southern coast. Hopefully I’ll get some time to paint and post some images.
I went to Chester the other week primarily to see a contemporary watercolour exhibition, but the person I was with wanted to visit a sculpture exhibition in the cathedral which contained a work by the brother of someone we paint with in a life group. In fact they were dismantling the exhibition when we arrived – I didnt even know it was running – but there were still a good number of exhibits on show by many world class sculptors. Some of the work was displayed in the cathedral grounds and as we were walking through in the sunshine, there were people sitting in the sun, surrounded by the great pillars and walls of the building, taking a lunchtime break. I thought I might paint something from a couple of the pictures I took.
The watercolour painting was also quite interesting, featuring some local artists, two of whom I knew – and the day was glorious for a walk around Chester.
I have seen a number of poured acrylics recently and decided to have a go myself. I have always liked the effects of poured paint and experimented with it around ten years ago with oil based gloss paint and below is one of my more successful ventures, Marrakech, which, because of the lightfastness of the gloss paint, now hangs in my conservatory.
I did not think you could get the same filigree effects with acrylics that you could get with the more viscous oil paint and so mainly used the liquid acrylics in a more dilute way such as in Dancing the Blues Away, which I posted some time ago, in 2015, on this blog.
So my prejudice has been exposed and I realise it might be worth experimenting with the liquid acrylics in a more concentrated form. I must admit my first attempt included as much manipulation as pouring as I played around with the paint with a palette knife, but the strands and swirls gave a satisfying result and looking at some of the work other people have produced, further variations can be had with the addition of silicone oil. I will be having a few more goes.
I posted some smaller versions of this a few weeks ago as a trial, and following that I decided to work larger and prepared a canvas with seven layers of gesso to get a smooth surface, sanding down between coats. In the end the smooth surface didnt give the effect I was after which was to increase the flow and mixing of the paints. Still, I was able to develop the theme of searching out form in random marks which has grown whilst I have been working on these pieces – the propensity for the eye to search out otherwise indistinct forms amid the chaos of random mark making, to try to gain insight and purpose into what has been presented.
I quite like this notion which feeds into other themes I have explored in my painting, so despite the setbacks at the start not all has been lost.
It’s unfinished, but with friends about to arrive for the weekend and my computer, which is constantly giving me problems getting collected today for repair, I thought I would put this out, whilst I had the chance.
When the dust settles, I’ll work on it a bit more, still it looks like it’s going to be a good weekend – hope you have the same.
As well as attending life sessions I have joined a portrait group, so here are a few of my recent paintings all done on a grey undercoat in a similar style, mainly using just three colours, alizaren red, raw sienna and ultramarine blue as well as white of course.
I managed to get the feet in on this one, which for a standing pose, for me is a minor miracle.
Below are the portraits. The first one was a bit over ambitious, trying to maximise the head on the paper and with flat lighting. I have managed to convince the guy who runs the session that he can get more sympathetic lighting on the subject. Hopefully that will show up in the ensuing weeks.
Last night’s session was a bit better, less ambitious in size
I was playing around looking at creating surfaces in abstract ways using tone and colour temperature, but drifted off when things didn’t go as planned and playing around came up with this. As it was quite small and on paper I thought about trying it on a 50x70cm canvas.
I liked the juxtaposition of the organic/formless aspects and the hard defined shapes which I then played around with, breaking up edges and working into. The canvas version is below and I think that it has some merits, although I couldn’t get the mixing I got on the paper – the weave of the canvas preventing it. What I could do is coat the canvas with gesso and sand down. I have found seven applications and sanding gets a flawless surface which might emulate paper and allow me to get the effects I got on the paper. Or I could just go with paper, but then I would need to think about the kind of support I would need.
I will be pondering on this. Meanwhile, other abstract paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com