Monday, 3 August 2015


1.  JACKSON BOUQUET before drying
When are you the "most you", when you aren't filling the role of parent, provider, friend, or even artist; when there are no expectations from other people or from yourself? What fills you with peace, recharges your batteries, refreshes you? Paint the activity or object or location that represents you being simply yourself. 

2.  JACKSON BOUQUET after first drying
You don't need to show a face or body unless you want to. Maybe it's gardening, watching the sun come up from the back porch (with your favorite coffee mug), riding a motorcycle, bird watching, training a pony, weaving, carpentry, baking, journaling, jogging, sunbathing, hiking, relaxing in a comfy chair late at night after the kids are in bed, or when it's just you and the dog. Or maybe it's a special location where you feel totally part of the environment. 

Stay "in the moment" as you paint it and let yourself go. Painting is ultimately personal. Give yourself permission to express yourself in your art. 

This was the challenge at Daily Paintworks a couple of weeks ago. It is a great incentive to let go and be yourself, although it may take a bit of practice to free your mind. 

The first attempt is like taking a one week vacation, when you are just starting to relax and you have to go back to work. So perhaps it should be a series, gradually becoming more relaxed and more free until it captures the essence of you.

Although I didn't have time to do the exercise, I remembered this Abstract Expressionist piece in honour of Jackson Pollock. It is a tiny Mini Masterpiece, so there wasn't much chance to throw the paint around like he did, but I do remember feeling completely happy, free and in the zone when I was creating it.

3.  JACKSON BOUQUET after retouching
The top painting is just after I had finished when the paint was wet and glossy. The second was the next morning when all the texture had been sucked into the canvas panel (this was before I discovered that gesso is not a good prep for acrylics on panels). I then added more layers of colour to build texture and depth and the result is the final image.

I have since discovered gloss medium, airbrush medium and Gamvar and would like to create more Abstract Expressionist paintings to see how they enhance this technique. I have a show in September where a series of such paintings would make a great display, so hopefully I will have time to make them.

If you decide to do this exercise, you can find the original challenge here. It is free to post on DPW for these challenges and a great way to get you work in front of many buyers.

VIew my online Gallery of large works and Limited Editions at ARTFINDER
View my online Gallery of small works at DAILY PAINTWORKS
Shop for Limited Edition ACEO and printed products here
Art Cards $5 and Art Postcards $3 here