After discovering the two abstract expressionist paintings being used as padding on the floor of my studio, I’ve been playing around with what is called “action painting” to see what I can do with it.
Action painting is very physical. These are fairly large canvases that I lay on the floor and walk around as I work on the piece. Here’s a good definition of action painting from Wikipedia:
Action painting, sometimes called “gestural abstraction”, is a style of painting in which paint is spontaneously dribbled, splashed or smeared onto the canvas, rather than being carefully applied. The resulting work often emphasizes the physical act of painting itself as an essential aspect of the finished work or concern of its artist.
The first piece I did has a lot of movement with large gestures of paint applied with a trowel.
These pieces are all 36 x 48 inches, so you have to imagine them large.
The second piece is somewhat surreal looking with smaller gestures and an other-worldly blue-green palette.
The last piece is my favorite. It was mostly black and dark gray covering a background of red, orange and cream. The paint was partially dry when I decided to hose it down because I didn’t like the way that it looked. Much of the paint washed off, and what remained is a moody looking abstract landcape painting.
I’m kind of in love with the dreaminess of this piece right now, and it has taken center stage over the couch in my living room. I see so many different images in this painting whenever I look at it. Serendipity at its best.
I find it somewhat challenging to do this type of work. It’s spontaneous and done quickly without any planning or forethought. It requires trust to make in-the-moment decisions and an ability to let go of critical thinking.
But when it works I think these pieces are beautiful, like paint captured in a frozen moment of time.
When do you let go of control and let serendipity take the reins? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.
P.S. – Happy Solstice to all of you, and Happy First Birthday to the calico sisters, Penelope and Cleopatra! One year old today.
With love and appreciation,