Painting: Container

So Friday, patternsthatconnect posted The Painting as Container, with instructions on how he did it, like a painter’s internet meme.  I thought the idea was so cool I did one myself:

Container, acrylic on 11" x 14" canvas, January 2012

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From patternsthatconnect:

The Rules:

  1. With diluted paint lay a light ground and leave to dry
  2. Pour paint of similar colour onto the ground and spread it by pushing with a brush from  the centre towards the edges of the canvas. Allow a shape to form, rather than delineating an outline. Then leave to dry.
  3. Pour other similar colours (in pairs of the same colour)  onto the new shape or secondary ground, again allowing them to form their own shapes, but not allowing them to spread beyond the boundaries of the secondary ground.
  4. Around the edge add a ‘frame’ of four different colours, one for each edge, one colour being the same as one in the painting and the others contrasting with the colours laid down so far. Allow the frame to meet the colours of the image but not to cover them.

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What I immediately liked about the idea is that in following these rules, they become a mental structure that frees you from your own mental structures.  Meaning my own ideas, both conscious and unrealized, about how I paint.  The act of painting another way, following, or at least to some extent being guided by, someone else’s ‘rules’ allows you to realize when and how you would have done it differently, if left to your own devices.  It allows you to see what you would not have otherwise thought of, and shines some light on your own tendencies.

In other words it was very freeing, liberating, and fun with a capital ‘PH’!

For step one I used a wash of diluted fluid phthalo blue.   For everything after that point, ‘squeeze’ would be a better word than ‘pour’ for me as all my paint, except for three fluid primaries, is in tubes.  This led me to place the later globs of paint with a palette knife, just because squeezing until the glob of paint drops put way too much paint on the canvas.  It would have been more unpredictable if I did have paint to pour.  I think the main thing though was to let the shapes painted form ‘on their own’ so to speak, without any planning before.  I did that, and that was what was most enlightening.  🙂

And hey, I didn’t have to think of a name for this one either!

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “Painting: Container

  1. This is so cool, and it looks so organic. Love it!

  2. Jim

    What I like best about this one is that it seems to flow freely. This approach seems to have really freed you!

    • Yes it really did! It was all about not planning anything in advance, and instead just smearing paint around and seeing what happens. Kind of like you wandering the parking lot at work with your camera! Lol!

      I should probably do this exercise at least once more. 😉

  3. I like your version. I am interested in how different the two interpretations look, whilst following (loosely) the same rules.

    • Thanks! Yes, I agree two people interpreting the same basic idea differently is very interesting. Did you get anyone else interested in trying this? 🙂 I’d like to see a third person’s take on this!

  4. This is so great, Zorgor! I like the cool, gentle colors you used. Sounds like a fun assignment, and it certainly sounds like you loved every minute of painting this! 🙂

    • Thanks! It was! I did! Well actually, it started with a lot of cussing to be honest. 🙂 I had been clumsy all day that day, so I should have known it was not a good time to do a wash… When I did, I got it just about how I wanted to leave it to dry overnight, but tried to make one more adjustment, clumsily. I spilled most of the wash right off the canvas. But it still turned out ok when it dried, and from then on it was a blast! So ya know, that’s just how it goes sometimes… 🙂

      • Oh, I’ve had days like that! So frustrating. I would have given up on creating art on a day like that. I probably would have ended up tossing my brushes to the floor and stomping out of the room to spend the rest of the day in a bad mood. 😉

        Way to work through it! 🙂 You can be proud of yourself.

        • Well that’s basically what I did do. It was late at night anyway, and I was doing the wash then just to let it dry overnight. So I just cleaned up the paint, cussed some more, and stomped off. The next morning, it had turned out ok! Lighter than I expected, but that was good. So I guess in the end it was a happy accident. 🙂

  5. Reblogged this on patternsthatconnect and commented:
    same set of rules – different outcome

  6. TLS

    Hello zorgs, I like this one a lot! The colours are beautifully harmonic, and it has a somewhat ‘clean’ feel to it, perhaps because it’s one of your more simpler designs (no intricacies). Must have taken quite a while, what with all the “leave to dry” instructions! Nice one. 🙂

  7. angelinamarino

    Very cool. Have you tried it on regular fabric? Angelina

    • Thanks! I’m glad you like it! I don’t really work with fabrics, this is a painting. Acrylic paints are kind of stiff when this thick; you’d probably need some other kind of paint for fabrics, especially if wearing it was what you had in mind…

      Thanks for visiting! 🙂

  8. You know what I see here? Cat’s face!

  9. I like the idea and thought why not make it my first attempt with paper and paint! I agree with you it will free the mind, it will press me to explore and expand my limits. Thanks for inspiring!

I'd love to hear your thoughts and interpretations! Your comments and likes are what keep the paintings and posts coming. :)

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