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DIY LUMINOUS POUR PAINTING with LIQUITEX POURING MEDIUM

Big Flow - Acrylic Pour Painting in Warm Hues copyright 2014 by Linda Ryan
Big Flow – Acrylic Pour Painting in Warm Hues copyright 2014 by Linda Ryan

Hi Friend in Art-

Here’s some good stuff that can help you make Luminous Pour Paintings at Home.  To keep it luminous, make sure to use mostly transparent pigment.

 

Small Acrylic Pour Painting Copyright 2015 by Linda Ryan
“Rising”, Pour Painting Copyright 2015 by Linda Ryan – this one was built in two layers  – oranges first, allowed to dry, then blues

Basic Luminous Pour Painting

Let Go and Create Using Gravity as Your Brush

It’s an exciting, liberating way to create beautiful, movement-filled, luminous art.

It forces you to let go of total control and let the medium and the pigments frolic and play to make some flippin cool stuff.

Of course, the more you explore it, the more control you have – but never like you would with a brush.

That’s a good thing. Free up.

Let’s Get Started

Basic Supplies (general list, detailed information to follow):

  • Poly tarp (heavy duty plastic can be found at Lowes or Home Depot)
  • Gloves
  • Plexiglas scraps (for practicing)
  • Cradleboard
  • Gesso (brand suggestion: Not fussy about this)
  • Liquitex Pouring Medium (THIS IS MAGIC STUFF – WOOT WOOT!!!)
  • Acrylic paints (recommend: Golden Fluid Acrylics or Liquitex Soft Body)
  • Small plastic containers for mixing/storing variety of colors
  • Dixicups (optional, but used for propping pieces off table)
  • Tub to collect paint drippings

Colors:

First, pick your color choices for this painting. I’m providing some of mine as examples.

Paint Group Suggestions

For your first Luminous Pour Paintings, I’d suggest picking a group from the list below; a few light, transparent paints, one or two darker, and a few metallic or interference colors. In your first paintings, try to aim for a more light than dark, create movement with a smaller amount of the darks, and highlights of opaque or metallic or interference paints. Play with one group of colors before moving on so that you can start to get a feel for it

Let go of the need to be perfect!

Warm:

  • Quinacridone gold – or transparent yellow iron oxide
  • Quinacridone burnt orange
  • Mixed blacks/brown (ex Anthraquinone blue and Quinacridone burnt orange)
  • Interference gold and/or orange (mixed fairly thickly, but evenly)
  • Any metallic gold or bronze

Cool Toward Purple: 

  • Pthalo blue (blue shade)
  • Mixes of degrees of blue (blue shade) or Anthraquinone blue and Quinacridone magenta
  • Quinacridone magenta on its own, or pushed a bit with pthalo or anthraquinone blue, or shaded down with a touch of pthalo green
  • Opaques – white, or interference blue, violet, or even a little gold
  • Mixed black from Quinacridone magenta and Pthalo green (may need a touch of transparent iron oxide to push it)

Blue, sea tones:

  • Pthalo blue (green shade) some lighter, some darker
  • Pthalo green, blue shade
  • Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide
  • Transparent Red Iron Oxide or Quinacridone Burnt Orange
  • Mixed black from Pthalo Blue and Quinacridone Burnt Orange
  • Metallic golds or bronzes
  • Interference gold or green

TEST IT OUT:

Snag a Plexiglas panel and some gloves. Put the gloves on.

Pick a light and a dark paint from the group you choose. Pour three half dollar size puddles of your light, three quarter sizes of your dark. Squiggle some metallic or interference pain around.

Start tilting!!! Don’t be afraid of diagonal tilts either, or reversing a tilt. The idea here is to see what the paint does, what happens when you tilt it sharply or lightly, how they flow together, stick stubbornly, mingle, drip it off the sides, make a general mess. You can’t ruin it – this is practice.

Find what you like, (or liked, as it probably changed as you tilted it) and think about what you did to make that happen.

Stuff You Will Want to Know

Mixing Your Paint with Pouring Medium

Mixing can sometimes be the most time-consuming step, but if you do it right, your piece will be better in the end.

  • Carefully pour some medium into a jar or cup, then add a few drops of your pigment, then more medium, and more drops. Pour carefully to avoid a lot of bubbles. This medium can froth and you can end up with a frothy bubbly painting instead of the resin-like surface this medium is meant to help you create.
  • Start stirring with a plastic spoon, lifting the mix from the bottom up. If you swirl from above, you risk introducing a lot of air, creating bubbles.
  • About the bubbles – Never shake pouring medium! If you do, you have to wait for it to settle down before it’s usable.

Getting the color you want:

This medium is almost milky translucent. It won’t be when it dries – it’ll be clear. It makes your colors look lighter. This isn’t yet the forum for a lot of color theory, but these tips will help:

  • Mix black from lots of drops of transparent paints
    • Alizarin Crimson + Pthalo Green
    • Anthaquinone Blue + Quinacridone Burnt Orange (My Fav)
  • Mix Great Brown by adding more of the Alizarin Crimson or Burnt Orange
    • They won’t look black or brown – test it on white paper or the plastic tarp.
  • Really Light Colors – if you want really light colors like baby blue, instead of adding white, which makes it opaque and deadens the luminosity, just use very few drop of your blue and let the medium separate the pigment particles and bounce light between them and give you your light color. You will be using light instead of paint to make a light color – as long as you are working on a white or gessoed surface. Test it by rubbing some across white paper or your tarp.

How much do I mix up?

More than you think you will need. You always need more than you think. Store leftovers in an airtight container.

 ____

OK let’s make a beautiful mess!

In your first paintings, try to aim for more light than dark in the beginning, create movement with the darks, and highlights of opaque or metallic or interference paints. Play with one group of colors before moving on so that you can start to get a feel for it.

Let go of the need to be perfect. You are learning.

Gloves on!

  • Pour your main light first – this is the most paint you will use with this beginning project. For your first project, don’t over thing where it will end up – just pour where you’d like it to start.
  • Add another medium color if you want where you want
  • It’s a fun time to put in a bit of interference or metallic if you like that stuff
  • Using small tilts, tilt to the side, tilt it away from you, and tilt to the other side if you want, and then tilt toward you to spread it around a bit. It’s ok if some of it runs off the side.

Add Your Darks

  • Don’t be symmetrical about this!
  • Choose where you want to start your darks. Try to avoid too much symmetry. Symmetry kills motion. Balance is good, but achieve it without doing one there, one here, one there, one here …
  • Add puddles or swoops of your blacks, smaller browns perhaps next to, in or near them, and then add some small areas of bronze and/or interference gold and/or metallic bright gold … these are just starting tips. You can totally experiment one you get the concept down.
  • If you want to lighten an area, you can pour clear pouring medium in that area.
  • Note—Adding anything to an area will push the paint next to it away a bit, in general, and even more so when you tilt it toward that paint. Sometimes you may want to do that on purpose.

Time to Really Tilt that Puppy

  • Try not to do exactly the same order of tilt as before. You can try a little tilt at first, at this point can tilt it the other way if you don’t like it and a lot of it will correct itself. Diagonal tilts are often effective at this stage. You can also run a gloved finger to mingle some paints together (this is great with bronzes, golds, etc. that like to stick together and float around the top).
  • You might want to get brave and do a big tilt or a diagonal tilt – or tilt and turn and tilt and do little titls. Stop and look at it once in a while. I had no idea how often and long I just stopped and stared at a pour painting in process until I started working on YouTube demonstration videos. I think I’ll cut those parts out.
  • Try to remember where your darks may have anchored themselves to the board – you may only see a ghost of them now through this glue-like stuff, but you will see them when it all dries and it can really change the composition.
  • Don’t worry too much, through, you can do another layer later if it isn’t quite there.
  • While it’s still wet, you can squeeze, drop or pour your mixed paint into holes that are left on the surface, use a gloved finger to encourage paint to meld together or swirl, or to shore up funky edges and gaps. You might want to use that gloved finger or the back of a spoon to soften up the edges if you do that, or to bring paint out to the edge of the painting.
  • If it’s started to dry, don’t add more paint. You can do a little of this later, or do a completely new pour on top as long as it’s all dry (wait a couple of days to make sure … unless it still looks milky, and that means waiting even longer)

 

Be Done Before You Think You are Done

When you are done, wipe off the sides with your gloved finger (just to smooth it out a little) and if your working surface isn’t level, transfer it to a level surface and let it dry on top of Dixie cups (you can add extra Dixie cups to the one side to make it more level if needed). Make sure the surface is protected – this can really run if not level, and engulf whatever is in its path.

Keep Pets and Small Children Away

I know from experience that cleaning up gooky cat paws and paw prints on a floor is no fun and the cat doesn’t like it much either. Rubbing alcohol can help the floor. There’s nothing much for the cat but soap and water.

Plus it messes up your composition big time!

Bonus Tip

ITCHING TO STILL PUSH IT AROUND? After about 30 min – 2 hours depending on your humidity, heat and airflow, the cloudiness in the top surface will have cleared just a bit and formed a skin. Doesn’t mean you should touch it! BUT—if as it starts to clear you don’t like what’s going on underneath, you may be able to nudge the underlying layers in a different direction by giving it a little tilt. This is because the bottom layer is still wet and moveable.

Don’t nudge it too far, you can end up with weird buckles and bumps on your surface. Sometimes I’m ok with that. If it’s not too thick, you can correct it with a clear pour.

Tips & Tricks: Tools & Materials

General:

  • GLOVES! – Always wear gloves. This is like glue and your cuticles will hate you!! You will need more than one pair. I always end up with interruptions while my gloves are goopy and have to tear them off and grab another pair. You can use less gloves if you keep a bucket of water around and drop them in it (and remember to fish them out later for drying).
  • Yucky clothes & shoes. You will get it everywhere. If you are a very meticulous sort, definitely use yucky clothes and shoes and make sure to drop some paint on them right away. Then you’ve already been messy so you can stop worrying about it and let loose.
  • Poly tarp or large black garbage bags to protect your painting surface and the floor. Poly backed paper tarps work really well on the floor – the medium dries faster on the paper. I like poly on my work surfaces, as my friend Virginia, a found-object artist, likes to peel all of the dried goo and create new art. I love that.
  • Airtight containers to mix and save the paint and medium mixes in. I’ve heart of people using Ziploc bags, but that sounds too intensely messy even for me. When your containers get too gunky to use, you can soak them in a bucket of bathwater (I’m in California and we are in a drought) and the paint will peel off. Same with your plastic spoons.
  • Toothpicks or – best – wooden skewers for kabobs for popping bubbles and sometimes to swirl your pigments together ( also like using a gloved finger or plastic spoon better for swirling – Less chance of funky white divots from scraping the surface)
  • Plastic knives, spoons for mixing and pushing paint around (I like spoons, but knives work well for dripping paint in a controlled fashion)
  • A level. You may be unpleasantly surprised to find out what your painting has done overnight if you leave it unlevelled. This stuff likes gravity and will go where gravity dictates. Always good to check it each half hour.
  • Paper towels, or rags
  • A bucket of water for dipping your gloved hand in to clean it off
  • Rubbing alcohol, for cleaning up drops and spills and, well, sometimes we start cleaning up without our gloves on and … it does not help het it out from under your fingernails.

Medium

  • At least 16 oz. of Liquitex Pouring Medium if you are working under 16” x 16” in size. In fact, if you really want to start to learn the medium, don’t get anything less than a 32 oz. You will jut get hungry for more, and that itch to keep doing it, and run out. Stop buying café coffee for a couple of weeks, or cut something else out. You can do it. Put it into your art instead.

Paint:

  • Acrylic, artist grade. Don’t use craft paint or cheap student grade. The matting fillers in it don’t work well with the medium.
  • Fluid or high flow paints mixes best
    • If you are a careful, slow mixer, you can make thicker bodied acrylics work with interesting streakiness, or really keep mixing and make it smooth.
  • I use a lot of Golden transparents as in the paint groups section. I like them.
  • Don’t buy pre-mixed black. Just don’t. Unless you want the black to be really forward, dead, on the surface. Then you should go for it. Post me a photo. Maybe I’ll change my mind.

Your Painting Support:

  • I like using sanded cradled board, with 2 or 3 coats of gesso.
    • You can use pre-gessoed Masonite – it’s too slippery for my taste but because of that you end up using less medium, so if you are on a budget, it’s a way to explore the medium without breaking the bank. It just doesn’t turn out as thick and luminous.
    • You can also use Plexiglas – it will adhere permanently to this. Not super thin – too thin will flex while drying and distort your work. Thin is ok for practice.
    • Canvas stretched on cardboard can warp, but is fine to use for practice.
    • The above 3 options will all need framing if you have a successful piece.
    • Stretched canvas sags and the medium puddles in the middle. If you like that, try it, but I don’t like the effect. I am toying with the idea of stripping a painting off the stretchers and mounting it on board, and then pouring over it … but I haven’t done it yet so can’t tell if it would be as awesome as I think it might be. Let me know if you try it.

Get Brave. Get Pouring. It’s Good for You

(cheat sheet w/shortened steps follows – copy & print it for your personal use) 

 

 

 

 

Cheat Sheet

  • Gesso your Board so it has time to dry.
  • Make sure you have gloves, tarps, spoons, etc.
  • Set up a level drying area.
  • Choose your color palette and plan what paints you need to mix into medium.
  • Carefully mix your paint and medium into cups, squeeze bottles, etc.
  • PUT YOUR GLOVES ON!

Then

  • Pour! In the beginning, start with your light transparent color.
  • (You can tilt and tip anytime you want in this process)
  • Add a lot less of a darker color – you can always add more.
  • Add some metallic or interference or the opaque of your choice
  • Consider adding a dark or light on top of or next to your metallic/
  • Interference to get it to intermingle better, possibly even swirl it a little
  • Tilt and turn it unless you like how it looks and make sure to
  • Stop before you think you are done

After:

  • Set it on a level drying surface
  • Pop bubbles, decide if you want to do any more tilts before it forms a skin.
  • Check frequently for the first hour to make sure the paint isn’t dripping off one side – you may have to prop up that side a little.
  • After a couple of days, you can add another layer. It will take longer to dry.

To return to Linda’s website, click here.

Featured post

Art, Full-Time

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Morningtime, 2017 Acrylic Pour by Linda Ryan

It was a wonderfully fulfilling and intensely busy 10 1/2 years managing the Bothwell Arts Center, helping creatives learn, teach, practice and create.  On March 8th, I handed over the reins to the ever-capable Anne Giancola, and am now off pursuing my art and teaching.

It’s been 3 weeks, filled with everything from updating my portfolio, creating new work, doing some private classes, developing a business plan and, well, catching up on sleep and long-neglected friends.

As I write this, I’m in our camper van at Caspar Beach, between Mendocino and Fort Bragg, California.  We’re surrounded by redwoods and the ocean is a heady block away.  I’ve been doing some research on residencies at the Mendocino Art Center, a lovely and amazing center dedicated to fostering the arts.  I’d really like to stay here and absorb the headlands, the amazing tide pools and the feel of the place, and infuse it in my art.  The painting above is based on memories of my first trip to Mendocino a while back, staying in a B&B in Elk and wandering solo along the shoreline.  We’re headed to Mendocino in a couple of hours, gonna check it out.

I’ll keep you posted!

Protecting Your Art

4. The Calm Ryan L 36x36
A while back, four pieces arrived from a Miami gallery show, the surface totally damaged due to ignoring the shipping instructions I’d sent.  Pouring medium stays somewhat soft, kind of like encaustic.
This was the biggest piece I’d done with this new series, 36″x36″ – I’ve done way larger with paints, but not with pouring medium. The larger the piece, the more complicated the logistics and the more challenge it takes to create actual art. It took at least 7 pours, countless hours, several interval layers, and a ton of medium. Ok, more like gallons. A lot of waiting and looking time in between each pour.
There is a beautiful state you get to when a piece is done, when you’ve listened to yourself and stopped yourself from over-working it, and just enough is there to invoke that magic.
I’ve been represented by some really decent people. I guess I was lucky. This was my first experience with a gallery not paying attention about many things, not the least of which was shipping instructions.  The first time I’ve been really badly represented in several ways (they had it hung sideways and I didn’t find out about it until two weeks before the show was over, really???  didn’t include me in the show catalogue, etc.)
I think I lost my innocence. Or at least my naiveté.
To unpack a box and see it so messed up is like a kick in the gut.  No, worse.  At 5 years old, I once took my red cape to the top of the school bleachers and jumped off, sure that I could fly.  The impact took my breath away for so long I wasn’t sure I was getting it back.  That’s more like what this was like.
I fixed it.  Took some work and money, but it’s just fine now (and really, really heavy).
So.  As in all things that hit us hard, it’s time to look for the lessons in this:
1. All busy galleries can get too busy to follow details, but some are worse than others. Check out your galleries ahead of time.  Read the reviews.  Wasn’t possible, really, with this one because it was new – but the main guy had been in the business and pops up with negative reviews.  I should have dug deeper.
2. If you have special shipping needs, make it as easy as possible for a gallery to follow them but remember they may not.  Better yet, consider protecting them so well (i.e., higher side framing for pours or encaustics), etc.
3. If you can, deliver and pick them up yourself.
4. Make sure to attach a “How to Handle this ArtWork” statement on the back of each piece.  Remember that, as in 1. above, this may get lost or ignored.
5.  Finally, seriously consider using Art Resin on your work.  It fixed all of the scratches and dents, maintains the luminosity of the pouring medium layers, and isn’t toxic or nasty.  I’ll write more about Art Resin and how to use it later, but generally the info is all over their website.  It’s pricey but worth it.
If you all have other ideas, please let me know.
Linda
ryan_linda_therein_sanctuary_acrylicpouringmedium_14x14

Building an Inventory of Art: Why it’s Sometimes Important Not to Sell

 

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The Parade, 2016, Acrylics and Pouring Medium on Cradled Board, NFS

Some people can’t, or won’t sell their art.  It’s just too hard to let it go.

 

I’ve never been that way until this year.

 

Most people that know me, know that I’ve been working hard on my art business this past year, focusing on learning the business end of it. Often, they ask, “so how are sales going?” and I usually reply with, “Just fine!” and don’t go into it much. Sure, I’ve had some nice sales during this time, but really I’ve been focused on building a super portfolio.

 

Many times in the past, especially while living off my art and supporting my then high-school aged daughter, I was painting so fast and furiously in order to pay my bills that my earlier plans to build an inventory and shop for galleries was simply not feasible. Luckily (or not), the paintings were selling right and left. My gallery was simply amazing at that, before it closed.

 

06linda
Back in the frenzied heyday of my abstract dancer series, hiding behind a commissioned piece designed to bring energy up a stairwell

 

But this time around, and with the places I’m going with this new medium, I’m determined to do it right. I’ve been studying the business (ask me about a great course I recommend) and putting what I’ve learned into practice.

 

So, other than the gallery in Laguna Beach, I haven’t offered many for sale since the two art fairs in 2015, and my sales this past year have generally been through clients and word of mouth. In fact, one sale I wouldn’t have made at all except that they were friends and longtime collectors of my work. It was one of my favorites that I felt would be a great gallery calling card piece, but they were good customers and deserved it. Another sale of a really strong piece occurred through entering a few exhibitions that I chose to enter to get some notice of my work. These were exceptions.

the-approach-30x
The Approach,  2016 Acrylics and Pouring Medium on Cradled Board, Sold

This year has been all about building inventory, to have a consistent, concise and large enough portfolio to be effective while I’m out shopping for the right galleries, and not continually shooting myself in the foot by selling all my work. Sometimes, great sales just isn’t the right goal.

 

So, while I plan to participate in the Open Studios our art center is hosting early in November, and I will be offering several (especially smaller works) for sale, there will be plenty of NFS on the tags.

 

I’m not a patient person. My lifetime plan of attack has been to go for it and make it happen. Keeping my eye on the long-term is different for me, but I’m doing it.  I’m going to hang onto a strong portfolio and enough paintings that will help me as I explore gallery options.   A few sales, sure. I’m not doing it the wrong way again, the constant shows, sales, etc., until I’ve reached my goal. I’m keeping the inventory intact until I land a few more galleries that are right for the work.

In a Silken Sea
In a Silken Sea, 2016, available through Kelsey Michaels Fine Art in Laguna Beach, CA

 

 

Five Paintings at Laguna Beach Gallery

My art is in Kelsey Michaels Fine Art in Laguna Beach!

I first delivered one of my underwater series paintings to a small juried gallery exhibit in Laguna Beach 9 months ago and fell in love with the town. You can’t swing a vegan burger without hitting a gallery in that town, or at least some cool original art. This became my goal: I want representation here, where gallery shopping is a destination point and art is a reason for going there in the first place.

It took some work, but now five of my underwater pieces are happily on a “test drive” in a cool contemporary art gallery, Kelsey Michaels Fine Art, right on Pacific Coast Highway.

4. The Calm Ryan L 36x36

Just had to Write About this Musician

Live Looping, violin, music, Michael Mullen
Michael Mullen starting up one of his TrioSoli loops. Artist Dan Riley’s work is his backdrop.

I don’t often write about musicians, even though I know and cherish many of them and love their music. But, this past Sunday, I experienced musical magic in a coffeehouse.

The extremely talented Michael Mullen, formerly “the Mad Fiddler” of Tempest fame, has become a master of “looping”, a technique where tracks can be laid down or sampled by a musician, replayed, and played against.

Mullen steps it up a big notch. Nothing is pre-recorded. Each track is laid down in situ, right there in front of the audience, then layered upon each other to create an exciting multi-performance ensemble.

In his “TriaSoli” performances, Michael constructs a duet, then a quartet, and then a small chamber group before us with each song.  He begins with one beautifully rendered track, masterfully bringing the next instrument to life, and moves on to the next.  From viola to cello to bass to violin, the anticipation builds until finally, he fills the room with a full-on chamber group that gives you goosebumps.

We got goosebumps on Sunday.  And it wasn’t just that he performed Bach, Beethoven and Haydn solo.  It wasn’t just that he has clearly mastered his instrument and the crazy amount of effects boxes in a semi-circle at his feet.  It wasn’t that he was deconstructing symphonic works at all – rather, he gave us the gift of getting to experience each part in its own beautiful way, and the experience of what each instrument added to the whole – and then the whole itself.

That isn’t all, either, but I’m not sure how to describe it.  That’s how art that affects you renders you mute – words can’t possibly engulf it all. So, I ask you, if you get a chance to see Michael Mullen perform in live looping mode, go. Listen. Watch. And let me know what you think.

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Michael Mullen donated his performances at Panama Bay Coffeehouse, 2115 First Street, Livermore, to help kickstart the new “Sunday Afternoon Matinee”, devoted to performers with original and traditional music, produced by Duane Gordon.  The series has since shown the works of over 22 regional musicians, many of whom performed their own original music – including Steve Kritzer’s music students ranging from 8 to 16.  You can find more information about upcoming shows at valleysingout.com, scheduled in bursts throughout the year.

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Update:  Michael performs at the Bothwell Arts Center on October 22, 2016, 7:30 pm.  You need to see this.

Click here to return to Linda’s website – thanks for stopping by!

Found Object Artist Gets Back to Work – at 85 Years’ Old

Meet Virginia.

She was a working found–object artist when I met her, a veteran of the craft.  She found potential in twigs, inspiration in a red candy wrapper tossed to the sidewalk.

This adorable, 76 year-old sprite of a woman was an inspiration. She made sculptures from driftwood and seaweed, the dancers my favorite. She did mobiles, baskets, so many artful things.

Then Virginia sort of disappeared.

I got busy, but would think of her often, when I would see interesting seed shells or twigs that looked like dancers’ legs. And, when I grabbed a few minutes to email her, the emails bounced back.

I saw her again many years later at an art reception. A friend had brought her because she no longer drove at night. To connect with her again was wonderful.

She was doing no art. She was afraid of making a mess in the beautiful retirement apartment she was renting – her husband and soulmate had passed on and the house was just too much to take care of.

A few days later I was hosting a Jackson Pollack painting party at the Bothwell and I knew she would love it, so invited her to come try her hand at action painting. Duane, my partner, made sure she got there and back.

She had a blast throwing paint around, and came up to me at the end of the night. In true Virginia form, she said, “can I come back tomorrow and pick up the dried paint?” with that found-object-sparkle in her eye.

She came, right on time, and bent at the waist, over and over again, delighted with peeling off her “found objects”.

She took those blots and specks home and played.

And so it began.

My friend Virginia turned 86 this year.

When I’m done with a long painting session, I’ve got splatters and splats and drips and dots (there are lots of dots) from my pour paintings all over my tarps. Virginia peels them off and makes “found art” collages and cool stuff without making much of a mess.

She gets so awesomely excited by the colors and the metallic encased in the drips and drabs and the possibilities in these ”found objects”, it does my heart good.

I am loving this.

She’s really going to like this latest batch…

Painter of Strong Women Wants to Meet her Muse – Madonna

D.O.M.'s Great Grandmother
D.O.M.’s great-great grandmother, Russian aristocrat turned snake charmer

What would you expect of the great-great granddaughter of a Circus Strongman and a Russian aristocrat who fled to marry her love and perform as the Circus Snake-Charmer?

That she would be strong? bold? That she would grow up to cherish powerful, rebellious women?

Absolutely. Meet D.O.M., (Dominika Zurawska), a strong, capable woman who has found a way to share of all of this through her powerful art.  Her strong coloration and bold women full of life are impossible to pass by in an exhibition without feeling their impact.

D.O.M. cherishes these female rebels with each big fat paint stroke.

And who was the bold woman who inspired her the most? Madonna – first as her inspiration in life, and then as her muse.

“When I was young, I had to be the strong one.  I had to support my parents and younger brother, it was a difficult time,” says D.O.M. Back then, even her art was difficult. “I went to Art School, and my teachers told me I should never paint.  They said I could sculpt or do other art but my paintings were worthless.”

While working in a coffee house, she finally really listened to Madonna’s messages. She realized how strong Madonna really was, what a rebel she’d been, and found a hero in spirit that has helped support her own bold spirit through hard times. Madonna made a huge impact on her life.

After a leg injury left her disabled for a time, she decided to paint on the canvases she’d bought for school to pass the time.  Her Manager saw them and suggested that she hang them at the shop and have an exhibition.  D.O.M. said, “but my paintings are worthless!”  The Manager hung them anyway. There were 9 of them. 8 sold.

 

Madonna, Oil Painting, Art by D.O.M., Strong Women
Detail, Madonna Painting by D.O.M.

D.O.M. married, and eventually took an office job to help support her young and growing family. Thirteen months ago, with a one-year-old baby, D.O.M. was laid off. In a bold, Madonna-like move, D.O.M. decided that she should pursue her artwork. And that she had one year to make it.

Since then, she has been in 8 different exhibitions in 3 countries,with another coming soon in Glasgow ( January 2016 ), the next in Lost Angeles (April 2016) and after that, New York (November 2016).

DOM art regents park
One of D.O.M.’s Rebel Women Paintings in the Underground

I met her at the Parallax Art Fair in London, where she was showing several of her Rebel Women series, http://bit.ly/1TPMskN all based on her muse, Madonna.  “I didn’t want Madonna to think I was using her to get publicity and sales, so I changed them”, says D.O.M., of the Rebel Women works, “but she (Madonna) inspired them all.”

D.O.M. was the busiest of all of the 200+ artists at the Fair. We joked about making up t-shirts that say, “Buy My Art so I don’t have to go Back to the OFFICE!”

She didn’t need the t-shirt. She’s now selling well and has several commissions lined up. Her art is now collected in 6 countries. She has won awards. But is that enough?

Nope. “I really want Madonna to have my painting of her,” says D.O.M., “and I want to be there when she sees it! She changed my life.”

 

painting, madonna, oils, strong women, bold womenWhen we Skyped to interview for this piece, D.O.M. was busy painting a masterful Madonna, whose eyes dare you to see her as anything but powerful. Madonna’s just gotta see this one.

Help her out! If you have connections or have connections that have connections, pass along the word, would you? Help this talented painter meet her hero and her muse, and give Madonna the painting.

@domartstudio

Links:

D.O.M.’s website

Artistasy.com Interview with D.O.M.

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btw, it worked.  Madonna got the painting – and D.O.M.’s going strong.  Check out her website or FB page.

CICCONE
Ciccone by D.O.M.

Info on Painting with Gravity – Liquitex Pouring Medium Demo

contemporary, abstracted underwater painting, blues and oranges, by Linda Ryan
New Series of Underwater acrylic pour paintings
Dreams of the Reef at Dawn by Linda Ryan
Copyright 2015 by Linda Ryan

I recently posted a YouTube video (link below) where I demonstrate how I created this underwater painting using Liquitex Pouring Medium, acrylics, a spoon and my (gloved) finger … ok, and a couple of tarps and stuff like that.

It was one of those magical afternoons when, after four days of painting mostly bottom layers, it all came together and just flowed. Sometimes, in the words of Audrey Flack (Art & Soul, a wonderful book), everything disappears in the room except the art and you … and then it’s just the art…

I happened to get lucky enough to get that on film!

Because of that, the Pour Painting Demo – Dreams of the Reef at Dawn makes it look pretty easy.

Once in awhile it’s just you and the art, and then…

ARTISTS: If you are an artist and want to try it, please spend some time exploring the medium on a smaller scale, first!  It took me a couple of years of experimentation to get to a good understanding of how each different pigment is going to react to the medium. Some float, some like to sit on the surface, some like to be by themselves and some overpower everything around them.

Nowadays there are a lot of videos out there that demonstrate how to use the medium, and you can also use my earlier “DIY” blog to get a little grounding in the medium.

Then, be brave, get your gloves on and start pouring!

Art that Connects you with Humanity

Delivered the art today to Art San Diego (in cool Balboa Park). Walking through there, I felt incredibly proud to be exhibiting amongst all the amazing art. This is a stellar show.

I know I’m a good artist. I know I can express in a unique way. And I know I’m not the best, but sometimes I reach the best I can be. That’s a good thing.

But some of this art, today ... well, let’s just leave it at a big wow. A couple of pieces left me feeling humbled before exposed humanity, and all I had time for was to walk by them. I’m gonna love exploring all this cool work over the next several days.

I should suggest this more often: Get out and get in front of some art that gets you in the gut, gives you goosebumps, gives you that thrill in the chest like a deep bass beat – but better, more deeply – a thrill that hums inside. Art reminds us of things we’ve forgotten, tells us things we could never get in any other way. It makes us soooo much more human than we often remember to take time for in our everyday lives.

You don’t have to buy it if you can’t afford it. You can just remember it, and the experience of it.

I’ll never forget a Nathan Oliveira piece I saw at John Beggruen’s Gallery in SF well over a decade ago. One of his red-figure silhouettes. I couldn’t talk afterwards, it hit me so hard.

I don’t have to own it to remember it and how it affected me. I’m not even sure I could handle that affect everyday. Not even sure I’d like the experience of starting to ignore it … could that happen? Point is moot, could not have afforded it. But I will always remember how it affected me.

Can’t wait til tomorrow night, when the VIP reception hits and there’s amazing art to be encountered in the halls … and I come home exhausted from either talking or engaging with the art. So thankful.

Thanks to you, too, for following along.

Linda

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