When you open your eyes to it, you may notice that there’s a ripple effect to so many things that happen in our lives. Sometimes the smallest daily minutiae can spark us to take an action. You likely see dozens of articles in a day, for example, each of which is filled with images that pull your attention in different directions. Our hope is that ArtistsNetwork regularly brings you a moment of peace, clarity, and inspiration; something as simple as viewing an acrylic painting, for example, can move you to add a technique or stop what you’re doing and pick up your brush. It’s a ripple.
Today’s post celebrates three artists who love acrylic painting. They represent three unique styles from the AcrylicWorks Collection (including AcrylicWorks2 and AcrylicWorks 3) and reveal how drastically different any given artist can take their work. Enjoy!
Acrylic Painting Inspiration
Location, Location, Location (acrylic on composition board, 48×36) by Misty Martin
Peeling paint. Weather-beaten woodwork. Rusted ironwork. Crumbling plaster. This is the imagery that fascinates me. Distressed architecture tells so many stories. The story of inspired creation; the story of steadfast utility; and eventually, the story of neglect, abandonment and decay.
I’m fascinated by the allegory that can be found in the degradation of the man-made environment. And as an artist, I’m fascinated by this degradation in terms of its drama and the subtlety of changing patina, texture and structure.
Seeking the Extra-fine Detail
Acrylic paint is my medium of choice for picturing this degradation in my signature photorealistic style. Acrylics let me achieve the extra-fine detail and the complex color enhancements needed to produce a visually stunning photorealistic image. Acrylics also let me paint the layer upon layer needed to coax out the relentless, intractable dynamic of aging.
Morning Bouquet (acrylic on canvas, 12×12) by Julie Gilbert Pollard
Enchanted with this irresistible scene–a rustic retaining wall in a friend’s garden, flowers cunningly sprouting from between the stones–I took numerous photos. The photos gave me shape information, but I had to invent the sunlight as I saw the scene only at dawn and dusk, both before and after the sun had passed over the valley in which this little gem lies.
Techniques for Texture
Many techniques went into creating the textures seen in Morning Bouquet: both positive and negative painting, application of color with a palette knife as well as brushes, from wet-into-wet to drybrush to scraping into the wet paint with a dull knife point. I was careful to balance all of these techniques throughout the painting in order to maintain a unified appearance to the paint quality.
Struggles in the Southwest (Fluid acrylic on 140-lb. cold-pressed Arches, gallery wrapped and varnished, 24×34) by April M Rimpo
Struggles in the Southwest was inspired by a trip to Mission Tumacácori in Arizona. I studied ancient cultures in college and have always found learning about cultures from the past as fascinating as modern life. I felt the graveyard at the mission epitomized the difficult times in 1691 when Father Kino established the mission at an O’odham village.
All the Action
My approach was to pour a few layers of fluid acrylic, then use a brush to strengthen the colors and texture in the crosses, which for me signified the strength of conviction of the missionaries and the Native Americans who worked at the mission. The rocks and sparse twigs and grass suggest the difficult times and the desolate environment in which they lived. The theme of my work is to explore cultures through color, allowing me to share a bit about the present and the past.