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Artist Thoughts & Musings on the Art of Being Artistic



My Creative Signature For Painting


by Esther M. Tubbs, TaWS

© Copyright 2014


Pours are a direct way of beginning a painting. As I pour it allows me to “get lost” in the beginning of the painting process as I splash, spin, tilt and move the paper to my creative rhythm. I let go of preconceived notions and move, creating with abandon. Often I dance as I do it - yes, artists can be a strange lot sometimes. After the colorful, abstract “chaos” has been created I then come in and pull everything together. Sometimes I do a drawing prior to pouring but other times I just go ahead and have fun. Pouring activates my creative juices so occasionally I use them as a “take off” when I want to loosen up. If I don’t see anything in the pour after I am done I will put it in my “crock pot” file for use later. 


When I have a subject in mind I do a drawing prior to the pour so the direction of the poor is determined by that drawing in terms of shape and value (light/dark) placement of color. If I do not have a subject in mind I have created a dramatic abstract or expressive base for a painting by letting the shapes and colors of the pour suggest subject matter. Or the pour itself can serve as a basis for an abstract or non-objective painting.


This creative technique is done by using staining watercolors or FW Acrylic Inks both which are very transparent. I begin by taping either 140 or 300 wt. Watercolor paper to a board and then choose two contrasting colors or utilize the primary triad of hues on the Color Wheel. As I prepare to do the pour I place the taped paper on a board flat on the ground in my back yard. Then I place each color separately in a plastic cup and lightly spray the taped down paper in places saving white areas by not spraying that part with water. Then I begin to pour the paint on the substrate allowing colors to mix on the paper. That is when I either lighten some parts of the hues to soften lines and/or tilt the paper to move the paint around letting the colors mix and flow together to create new colors and shapes. The key is to know when to stop and allow the pour to completely dry.


Or I sometimes I will want a different effect by pouring directly on dry paper leaving white spaces which gives hard edges creating a totally different base to work with.


When I want a different unified color base I wet the whole paper and then pour a color blend as a glaze in order to give both harmony and a foundation for what will be painted over the dried surface. This was done for a painting I am working on now where I poured a light value of rose over the whole surface with touches of yellow to place a sunrise in a certain place. What I am painting over it will then reflect that hue giving a pleasing feel of early morning over all the landscape.


This pour technique has become my unique “autograph” as the basis for my work. For me it is a way of expressing the beauty of the “abstract” that underlies the Lord’s awesome creation. 

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