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Artistic Evolution

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Artistic Evolution

Back in August when I went to Santa Fe, New Mexico on my Artist Retreat, I spent a wonderful afternoon with Nancy Reyner (www.nancyreyner.com) and wrote about it my September blog.    https://www.rshah-studio.com/even-artists-need-a-retreat/   Nancy is one of my favorite and admired artists – it was her YouTube video that taught me how to apply gold leaf (or any leaf) to a substrate (a summary term for the various surfaces artist paint on, such as canvas, wood panel, etc.).


Long story short – Nancy is one of the most knowledgeable experts I have found regarding the use of acrylic painting.  Her instructional videos (available online and easy to follow for any painter, even if you are a beginner) really inspired me to experiment across different mediums to create paintings.  One of the many techniques Nancy outlines in her instruction and the subject of our afternoon workshop is called “Pouring”.  As far as we know – this technique has only been successful with Acrylic mediums.  After spending the afternoon with Nancy and quite a bit of time driving between Taos and Santa Fe – I came back to my studio in Tokyo and couldn’t wait to “play” with the technique.



What is Pouring?


The technique of pouring is exactly what it says – you are literally pouring paint and medium onto your substrate. In fact, there is a whole FB page dedicated to Acrylic Pourers.  Artists pour onto canvas, wood panels, glasses, coasters, pottery, and even make jewelry with the leftover acrylic skins made out of the paint that drips off. It is difficult to properly describe this – the best way to tell you about it is to show you (Acrylic Pouring).


I have even found a baker who “pours” icing onto cakes, hence; transforming them into works of art.


As a technique, it is not possible to predict what kind of finished product you will get.  While you can certainly manipulate the direction and flow of the paint – it is impossible to know exactly which color or colors will settle in the background and which ones will rise to the foreground.  This can be good or bad, depending on how much control an artist is able to relinquish.


I love it because it challenges my knowledge of color theory (which colors to put together and how they will mix).  The technique also forces me relinquish any vision I have for the painting and allow it to lead me to the finished work.


My last 3 paintings using this technique have brought me some nice success.  Earth & Sky was chosen for the 82ndAnnual Shinseisaku Juried Exhibition at the National Art Center of Tokyo; and Earth & Sky II and Grotto of Water Lillies were both chosen for the 49thAnnual Genyouten Juried Exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Gallery in Ueno.


Just as an example, below is a pour I did on copper leaf and a wood panel. I used a pouring medium, water, with Paynes Grey, Pearl White and Gold.  I moved the wood panel around a bit to allow the paint and medium flow around the substrate and then placed it on an even, balanced surface and let it dry for 24 hours.










As the paint dried, I was observing the forms and flows of the paint and noticed the outline of what looked like a dragon fly or a dragon rising out of all the blue.  The more I looked at it, the more it became clear it was a dragon.  My next step was outlining the shape of the dragon so she could be seen more clearly in form – and added her eye.  This piece is called The Water Dragon.




So! I am continuing to experiment and play with this technique to see where it leads me!  I have already started on some initial pieces and hope to finish them by mid-January.


Here are a couple pieces in progress











I will post the finished products in a future blog!


Until then,



As always, I love to hear your thoughts and comments so please feel free to leave a comment below.


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1 Comment
  • Lucas
    March 16, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    Hi there! Such a nice short article, thank you!

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