I often have so much fun painting the “background” of a painting I end up diverging from the idea of a background and creating the entire painting at once. In an attempt to try and tone down the chaos in my work, I decided to do a series of paintings where the background could be the main element of the work.

During this Year Of Experiments, I will be attempting to address any barriers that may be inhibiting my creative flow.  Not having enough paint on my brush is something I continuously struggle with. In this experiment, I tried to overcome this problem by squeezing the paint directly onto the canvas.

First I tried random globs of color and ended up with the adventure below, Popping Pastels. 

Popping Pastels

In the following paintings I tried to see if planning the placement of the color globs would help or hinder the process. In Growing In All Directions, I placed the paint in a matching pattern at both the top and bottom of the canvas. Then I used a slow straight up and down brushstroke to blend colors together. My favorite part about this painting was how the vertical stripes became warped, giving the background a rounded effect.


Growing In All Directions


The next two paintings, Hold On and Worm Swirls were done at the same time. I placed paint globs at the center of the canvas and dragged the colors in a zig-zag fashion. I went around the circle leaving space and skipping colors first. Then I went around a second time filling in the space and doing more blending. This process is quit a race against the drying time for acrylics. I use the same brush without rinsing it to take some time off of the process. I found it best to go from light to dark in order to keep the paints from blending too much, too fast.

Hold On
Worm Swirls



Overall, I like both the random and planned styles of paint placement for different purposes. In the future, I would like to do another series focused on planning the placement of paint and finding out what different kinds of new shapes will emerge! The most important part of this project was that I had tons of fun doing it. If someone could ship me paint by the gallon and let me use their walls… I could go on and on with this style of work. The race against time when dealing with acrylics is especially addicting!

Future Work

  • Patterns emerging out brushstroke technique
  • Painting an entire canvas with the random glob method and then adding in a single line that pops in and out of the plane to create the form and perspective