In one of my art classes in college we were told to try something new with a painting. That day I brought in hot glue and glitter glue and went to town.
For this painting, I went with varying layers of watered down acrylic paint (my first time making the drips you see in many of my paintings!) and I laid down tape to create resistance. In some places I completely covered where the tape had been, in others I drew with the hot glue gun instead of laying more glue down. This removed some of the paint, revealing the white of the canvas beneath.
When I finished painting, at first I wasn’t sure which direction I wanted it to go. Should the drips go downward? Should the large glitter-circle be on top? Should the tape lines lead the viewer’s eye into or out of the painting?
After turning the painting around for a while I finally saw it- all of the Paths I had created. Some winding, some curving, some running into each other. With the glue and paint and glitter I had created a deep landscape that blurred the horizon line. Each of the lines and colors moved the eye around, following these Paths, so that you wouldn’t miss an inch of the painting.
Paths is an example of the happy accidents that happen while painting. The intuitive strokes you don’t even know work with what you’ve got until you take a step back and see the landscape you’ve created.
Since this painting, my focus has truly been to go with my gut. To put the paint where it seems to be needed, where the other colors are asking it to go.
I now follow the paths the paint creates for me.
I used to focus on planning a painting to make it just right, but since I’ve let myself and my creative subconscious get to work, I’ve created many more paintings that I’m pleased with.