Hallucinations with Inks and Gesso

inks and gesso on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

Last Saturday 20 people showed up in the little art room at Rileystreet Art Supply (in Santa Rosa, CA) to watch my Painting With Inks and Gesso demo.  So while talking about materials and techniques and trying to answer the steady stream of great questions, I put ink and gesso to paper.  Here’s one that happened.

I’m mainly focused on getting surprises to happen on the paper with minimal use of brushes.  As soon as we get a brush in our hands (unless it’s a big juicy one) we get into control and predictable things start happening.  There’s nothing at all wrong with that, and I employ brushes in many ways to fine tune things.  But honestly, I could never do a painting like this one or the next on purpose.

Paintings like these encourage the kind of “hallucinations” that are both shared and at times idiosyncratic.  What is always fun in a group that has gathered round the table is that people see different things/creatures/figures depending on their viewpoint.  here (above) the bird or insect is flying. . .

while here, perhaps a woodpecker on a tree trunk?  But please don’t let me interfere with your very own image stream!  Oh, and just one more, from the Tuesday Muse Group demo this week, a Rohrshach. . .

Don’t think I’d want to meet these unicorn-y guys in a dark alley. . .

I’ll be doing another demo like this at the Rileystreet store in San Rafael, CA on Feb. 11 if you’d like to join me.  It’s free, but you sign up by contacting the store.



  1. I especially like the first work on paper. Wonderful motion and energy.

    I was with my Art Salon group tonight and the subject of acrylic skins came up. I told everyone to look at your use of them.


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