Thursday, July 15, 2010

Do not copy nature too much. Art is an abstraction. - Paul Gauguin

So, while I have been off galavanting around, I have been forming ideas, and paintings in my head. I came back from vacation just in time for a class about the Jackson Pollock style of painting, and this has been quite wonderfully freeing!

We were asked to do a series of four paintings, on either the Four Elements or the Four Seasons. I chose the elements, and then added a fifth element: Spirit.

We started off throwing some plaster onto the board first, then once it was dry the process of throwing, pouring and dripping the paint began. The first one I did turned out to be Earth. As I threw plaster onto the board, thought I didn't have any plans, I noticed that a handful of plaster smacked onto the boards, reminded me of the Andes that I had just come back from. Another glob of plaster which I stuck my thumb into, suddenly reminded me of the volcanoes of Peru. I poured the paint appropriately, and this was the result.

I wish some of the 3D effects could be seen n the photo, such as the golden jewel at the top left, the volcano at the bottom right, but I think you can see the overall effect.

Next I thought I would do Fire, and started the process again of building a giant volcano on the board, but once there was a ring of plaster formed, I decided that it felt more like a pool of Water, so I poured and coloured appropriately for that, and this was the result.

I really like this one, it is soothing, and yet not completely still.

Next up was Air. I painted a traditional sky then put the plaster as an overlay. Now, truth be told, once the plaster was on the board for this one, I would have loved to leave it just white with the background paint showing through, but I knew the assignment was to pour and throw paint, so I added the coulours in. The result is this, and I do like it very much.

The next one that I tackled was Fire. This turned out to be one of my favourites.  I love the spontaneity, the colours and even the joy in the piece. I love the yellows zipping across, like little sparks flying and popping in the fire.

Now with this one, I was smart enough to take a couple of detail pictures of the textures:

Finally, I did Spirit. For this one I first painted the background black, then added the plaster, and the paints. I do quite like this one - I would say it is my second favourite. Again, I have a couple of detail photos of the textures. I used a lot of metallic colours here, which are difficult to photograph, but again, I think you get the overall effect.

I have plans to do a series of these, in smaller sizes, and I have some new stuff to add to the painting to get the effects that I am after. this should be interesting. Soon also, I will update with a bunch of others that I did in this style, that were not part of any assignment. But first, in the coming week, I will update with the Four Seasons which I did after doing the Four Elements. Enjoy!


  1. LOL looks like you're having fun!!!

    Love the colours, I may have to try the plaster idea... I usually use lots of gel. Does the plaster crack?

    And careful, sticking stuff into paintings is addictive!! I should know!

  2. Hi Janet.

    Well, the plaster CAN crack, but doesn't necessarily need to. Some of us were putting plaster on the boards, waiting for it to partially dry, then hitting the board from behind to get the cracked effect.

    As for sticking stuff to paintings being addictive, well, um yeah. :D