Artist Date: Pour Painting – May 19, 2018

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A dry canvas and mixed paint are ready for my first pour painting project.

Pour painting. It seems to be all the rage right now, and classes are popping up all over the place for people to try their hand at it. That’s how my husband, Terry, and I decided to explore the technique.

We found a class in Stillwater, Minnesota, led by Sharon Weiser, an accomplished painter and art instructor. Terry and I spent a couple hours with Sharon testing two different kind of pours.

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Terry tilts his canvas to arrive at swirls and cells of different colors.

The first pour was on a dry canvas. Using acrylic paint, a flow agent and water, we mixed a few different colors until smooth and drippy. Upon achieving the right consistency, we added just a few drops of silicone to each mixture. Before pouring, we layered each color into a new cup, not stirring it, but allowing the colors to sit upon each other. Then we poured the paint and tilted the canvas to see what design and “cells” would appear. A blow dryer helped with developing the latter.

The second pour was on a wet canvas, which means we applied a thick solid color of paint on the canvas before mixing and pouring like we did the first time around. It was amazing to see how this simple extra step changed the effect pretty drastically!

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My finished pour painting projects, one on dry canvas and one on wet.

The cons of pour painting? It’s pretty messy, and you never know how it’s going to turn out. The pros? You never know how it’s going to turn out—there is joy in surprise! Terry and I look forward to experimenting some more, even using some of our old house and wall paint and possibly trying some different surfaces—metal, wood, etc.

In addition, I couldn’t help but notice that the older students at our daughter’s childcare center are doing some pour painting on three-dimensional block sculptures. That would be fun, too!

Artist Date: Hopkins Center for the Arts – March 17, 2018

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“Waterscape I” by Denise Presnell-Weidner

I visited Hopkins Center for the Arts three times over the past week: once for an art class, another time for an Empty Bowls fundraiser, and finally to reexamine just one piece of artwork that caught my eye. Though hundreds of other pieces lined the halls as part of The North Show: Arts in Harmony, “Waterscape I” captured my curiosity and compelled my return to the exhibit. Here’s why…

Technique: Layers
Waterscape I” looks like a lot of the abstract and expressionist pieces I tend to like: full of color and reminiscent of the natural world. But I knew there was something special about this piece, a different level of dimensionality. After further study, I figured it out: it was essentially two pieces of art, one layered on top of the other. On the bottom? Linen colored from corner to corner with the rich hues of oil pastel. On the top? A solid sheet of clear plexiglass painted with flecks of orange and blue complementing the scene below.

Artist: Denise Presnell-Weidner
This is the artist who created “Waterscape I” (and earned third place honors in the North Show’s Mixed Media category, by the way). My Google search revealed that Presnell-Weidner is an art professor who recently retired from Lakeland University in Sheboygan, Wis. After viewing more of her work online, I was pleased to learn that she’s having a solo exhibition in Hopkins next winter!

Assignment: “Tapestry”
As I continue to dabble in “contemplative collage,” the concept of “tapestry” has been playing on the edges of my mind. To be more specific, I’ve been dwelling on the kind of metaphorical tapestry as described in Corrie Ten Boom’s famous poem “Life Is But a Weaving.” Now I know exactly how I plan to tackle this notion of tapestry in my art: by employing some layers just as Presnell-Weidner did with “Waterscape I”—I look forward to depicting the “upper” and “underside” of God’s “canvas” using a method similar to hers. With yet another new idea on my list, my assignments are really starting to pile up—I hope to share more finished products soon!