We wrapped up another 6-week series of Tuesday Muse Group this week with a lesson I haven’t taught for years – painting on a glossy surface.
First you coat the paper with a couple layers of gloss medium and let them dry. What you get is a surface with a shiny plastic-y surface which makes for some particularly odd effects when you paint your acrylics on.
I like to use fluid acrylics and wet the surface lightly in places so that the paint starts to move and colors blend. If you spritz the paint lightly with alcohol just before it dries, you get even more surprises as the alcohol pushes the paint around some more.
I can’t quite remember when the floral garland here grew the native face and then the feather? headdress appeared. There’s always a matter of brain off-line and resulting hallucination involved. The passion vine flower came into the picture as it resembled the flowers outside on my studio wall that lure the butterflies and mess with the mind of visiting artists as well.
acrylic and collage on acrylic gloss medium coated w/c paper, 10 X 11″
a native plunges ahead on the trail of passion’s twining
clad in fragrance of meadows and dark sky
of floral garland and warrior headdress
. . .destination unknown
For more painting on gloss, you might want to visit another lesson on my blog and try it out.
inks and gesso and white Sharpie Paint Pen on w/c paper coated with gloss medium
It bubbles up, all unruliness and glory. . .
The impulse is not the master of the outcome. It is merely the little finger that pushes the stick out from under the rock that topples the boulder that rolls crashing down the incline, that raises dust and debris in its colorful wake. . .that innocent little finger that understands none of this, but offers itself at just that moment when the mountain is ready to move and paint a new beginning to a marvelous story, which has never been told before.
I think of myself as this little finger at times, the mountain at other times, and on rare occasions, the master of outcome. In fact we are all of the above.
Many years ago I took a workshop with Marilyn Hughey Phillis. She initiated me into the world of fluid acrylics and abstraction. We were instructed to bring paper that had been coated with 3 layers of gloss medium. Remembering this I tried it out with the Monday Afternoon Muses recently.
When paint hits the glossy surface it flows, it skates lightly, it responds uniquely. Painting on a glossy surface does not necessarily result in shiny paintings, but it extends the dynamics of fluid acrylics and inks into new territories. In the painting above I used a brush only to paint wet shapes onto the surface and otherwise used a dropper to apply inks and my fingers to blend them with the gesso to create subdued passages. A spray of alcohol into wet ink created the circle shapes on the bottom and the white dots in the black on the top were total serendipity (meaning I have no idea how that happened).
Another one painted on a gloss medium surface and spritzed with alcohol just before it dried. I have a third sheet of paper with a glossy surface that is calling out to me to do another! Want to try it?