I had a bit of a fall in the Fall of 2014 and couldn’t hold a brush. This is how it ended up. High-fiving the Alien in the living room in a purple cast. That’s me in the cast, not him. I’m the one on the left..

I'm the one on the left.
I’m the one on the left.

I had a show coming up and had scheduled a bunch of painting time. And had that intensely edgy feeling that signals the need to paint. Stupid thumb.

It didn’t dawn on me that maybe this was one of those things that would change my art. I just had to get some paintings done, and they had to be good.

I’d been exploring, testing, playing and teaching using the recently introduced Liquitex Pouring Medium to make small, luminous, motion-based paintings. These were built on years of experimental play with a bunch of gels and mediums – and were the kind of resin-like finish I’d been trying to get to for years.

Time to order a bunch of cradled board from my friend at Way Up Art & Frame. Hired a young friend to gesso the boards. Ordered a couple of gallons of pouring medium. Got tarps (lots) and the largest latex gloves I could find.

It got kind of exciting.


Had to go back for the largest janitorial rubber glove I could find, split it down the side and duct-taped it together (with purple duct tape. You’ll just have to imagine it. I was too busy painting and way too into it to take pictures.)

Then I started on big squares. Man, those knocked my socks off – and were super challenging, to try and create a solid composition within a square, interrupt circular references and create places for the eye to travel along, all within the constraints of a fun but tricky medium – milky fluid that hides what is below and sort of shows what floats (the benefit of all that experimenting!!).

flow 1.0, acrylic pouring medium on cradled board copyright 2014 Linda Ryan

Cool, huh?

Intense yumminess. That sense of aliveness, being one with the paint, inside art with the art, me and the art and then it’s just the art (thanks Audrey Flack). And then the next fun part – watching them dry. And then just living with them.

Only got a little paint on the cast. Got a bunch on my tarps to strip off and give to my friend, Virginia, who uses them to make collages. More about Virginia later, you’ll love her.

And later, I’ll post more about the method, give you a little DIY tutorial and more about following the flow … catch up a little on my belated blogging.

The takeaway here is – sometimes things that are painful on the surface help define us, show us a new path. Open a new door.

At least, that’s my takeaway….walking through the open doors….following the flow.


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