Messy business

Hmmm, long time no blog, eh?  Must try harder.

But I’ve not been entirely idle, I’m pleased to say. Last weekend my painting friend Andy and I went on a course at the Leeds College of Art. Titled ‘Atmospheric Acrylics,’ the objective was to look at the techniques used by the artist David Tress, focusing on landscapes.

We’d chosen this course as it looked like it might help us to loosen up our painting techniques in acrylic – we weren’t disappointed! The tutor wasted no time in getting us to scrunch up and stick paper (and anything else we fancied) onto boards to provide a basis for painting. We were encouraged to expand the boundaries of our boards, which was interesting – I think I might keep working on that idea.  I’ve never tried to mix collage and paint, and I found the process at first a bit bewildering, then, very quickly, liberating. The tutor expected that we would be churning out four to five pieces, from small to large, during our 5 hours on the course. That seemed ambitious at first, but the techniques we were using were very fast indeed. The tutor was excellent, and provided lots of welcome encouragement and advice where needed.

Big brushes, splattering, sticking, smearing and scraping – all pretty new territory for me, and I loved it. I definitely made lots of mistakes and errors of judgment, but it didn’t matter as the day was all about experimentation and freedom from constraint.



What did I take away from this experience (apart from paint spatters all over me)? Well, I think that I would be happy to use all the elements  – torn paper, expanded boundaries, splattering, broad brushwork – again. I’d like to experiment with incorporating some of these powerful techniques into my own style of painting. Should be both challenging and fun!

37 thoughts on “Messy business

  1. Ah ha! I was just thinking I’d not seen you around recently 🙂 these are great, I think my favourite is the 4th – waves crashing against rocks so forcefully that the painting has shattered 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Back with a bang! I really cannot pick a single favourite – so bold, you wouldn’t know it was such new territory! And, most of all, it just looks like you had so much fun. 🙂 I especially like the expansions; they really do seem to give the pieces an extra dimension.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. II have always liked the concept of breaking into the mount with the painting as it is almost like trying to grab hold of the viewer, not letting them get away so easily and getting their involvement – anything to sell the piece. Nice work..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much Graham – I’m sure you’re absolutely right about breaking down the boundaries. We’re so used to seeing things in ‘boxes’ that it can be quite arresting when a picture breaks the mould a little… And now I’m left wondering how best to frame the one my friend has chosen for her birthday. Hmmm… 🙂


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