Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fields of Color

Helen Frankenthaler and her work
"What concerns me when I work is not whether the picture is a landscape or whether it's pastoral, or whether somebody will see a sunset in it.  What concerns me is - did I make a beautiful picture?"
                                                                                                    - Helen Frankenthaler

As I work on unlocking my own creative spirit I feel drawn towards non-objective, color field painting. This means I don't feel like painting anything in particular.  I just want to put colors on the surface and let them flow.  This method of painting was made famous in the 1950's by an artist named Helen Frankenthaler.

This abstract expressionist technique is one that offers you, as the artist, the opportunity to enjoy spontaneity.  It allows you to pour, mix, spray and experience colors as they mix themselves.  Your job is to add more paint, blot out areas, spray with water, tilt for the gravitational pull and enjoy the process.

Supplies:  unprimed canvas, stretcher frame (optional), acrylic paint, cups, spray bottle, paper towels and brushes.
1. I stapled my canvas to a 16x16 stretcher frame but could have left it unstretched.  Since I was practicing this technique I tried it both ways.
2.  I mixed acrylic paint with water to the consistency of cream.
3.  I spray the canvas with clear water.
4.  Then I began by pouring my lightest color first.

 5.  I sprayed more water to move the paint around. I also tilted the canvas to help the paint flow.

6.  I added more colors pouring, spraying, blotting and tilting.

Originally I thought this would
be the finished orientation.  But
I changed my mind after
I propped it and sprayed again.
 7.  As the colors are absorbed they would bleed and mix. I would continue to manipulate them  by tilting and spraying.

8.  I was close to declaring it done so I propped the canvas up and sprayed one last time.  I then left it alone to dry.

 9.  I  removed the canvas from the
stretcher and and trimmed it up.  I'm not sure how I'll mat, frame or otherwise
display it.  For now I'll just enjoy the fields of color.

Free Flow                    12 x 16
Acrylic on canvas

1 comment:

  1. That is so pretty!
    I love that it has no rhyme or reason for being.They just form the beauty that is the end result. Love it! I appreciate art...My brother is an artist and I love his work...He does more illustrations but his paintings are amazing as well. I'm not sure he's ever done something so free before but the question must be asked, right?

    love this.