Over the last week or so, I’ve joked quite a bit about breaking up with Aubrey Phillips — not the man, but the artist, or, more specifically, his style of watercolor painting. I’ve spoken of divorcing myself from his style, about figuratively dating other art styles, and I’ve allowed myself to be momentarily lured back in for a reconciliation of sorts. All part of the normal process of breaking up, I suppose, but truth be told, breaking up with Aubrey Phillips didn’t break my heart.
Yet I have felt an occasional twinge of heartbreak as part of my art journey. Sometimes art has led me to dark places where I really didn’t want to go. I’ve had my share of disappointments; I’ve sometimes been very disillusioned about art, and mostly about my place in it.
If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know about my painful experience in acrylic pouring. You know, too, that I question whether or not it’s truly art, whether it’s better defined as a lovely craft, and actually, none of that really matters. Whatever it is, it is, and that’s fine.
I’ve browsed around various art blogs, and I’ve come across glorious examples of what can be done with acrylic pouring when its done by an artist who loves the medium and knows how to use it.
That means, quite simply, count me out. I don’t love acrylics, and I definitely don’t know how to use them, especially for acrylic pouring.
But, I try.
Following the workshop I attended in June, I bought a few acrylic pouring supplies and set up a “pouring station” in the studio.
It’s a simple set-up, but sufficient for my needs. Of course, I also purchased pouring medium, silicon oil, and a variety of small paper cups to hold paint.
One thing I neglected to buy was a box of nitrile gloves. I really need those! I’m quite messy with any sort of arts or crafts.
Part of me thinks my interest in acrylic pouring at this time is a somewhat desperate attempt to prove myself, to prove — to myself and to the world — that, yes, I can do acrylic pouring.
Sad to say, my efforts haven’t been too successful. I first tried a small canvas panel. Oh, my goodness! It was so ugly I nearly cried. You’ll see the poor, pathetic pouring in an upcoming post.
Next, I came up with that bright idea about pouring on cardstock and creating a paper lantern. That was not too successful either.
But I had another project in the works, and I was sure this one would turn out perfect.
I bought a small wooden heart. My plan was to make it into a beautiful wall hanging for our kitchen. Although you can’t see the colors too well in this photo, our kitchen and breakfast nook area is done in gray, black, white, and maroon.
I have a bit of empty wall space and thought a heart would be most appropriate there. After all, the kitchen is the heart of a home, and for us, that’s especially true. I love to cook and bake. I love sitting at our table doing “Morning Pages” in my journal each morning. I even love doing my dishes! Yeah, I’m weird that way.
So, I had high hopes for my “heart” project. Since the heart is made from wood, I painted it first with a light coat of white acrylic gesso. I seem to remember the instructor talking about how anything could be used as a base for pouring, and I’m certain I recall her talking about how porous wood is so that using gesso — she even asked how to pronounce the word — was the way to go.
So far, so good.
But, cutting to the chase here, my complete project did not turn out quite the way I’d envisioned it.
For the pour, I used two different reds — a crimson and a “flamenco” red — along with white and “pavement” — a dark gray. I thought these colors would work well with the kitchen decor.
And probably the colors would be fine, but I don’t think I’ll be hanging this on my wall. While I did add a few drops of silicon oil to create “cells” in the pour, I completely forgot about applying a bit of heat to activate the silicon. I’ll remember that next time.
As for this time, I’m chalking it up to another example of “right idea, wrong execution”. While I intended it to be a bright, happy heart with lovely swirls of color, it came out looking sad and broken. When I looked at it, all I saw was pain and unhappiness.
I’ll find a place for it, not in the house, but here in my studio. I’ll hang it here and let it inspire me in its own way. Broken hearts may hurt, but they still beat, and each beat reminds us that we’re alive. Life goes on, and we can begin each new day with hope and love.