Posts Tagged ‘Interference paints’


 “Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small . . . .”  Winston Churchill

Although the implications of the above quote were radically serious in the autumn of 1941 and England’s darkest days of World War II, I’ll apply that great statesman’s principle to a totally lighter setting—that of making art for fun!  After all, Churchill did say “in nothing great or small”—and in his postwar years he pursued a hobby of painting!

I have learned to “never give in” to discouragement over the most ridiculously messed up, failed renderings.  I’m experienced in painting failures, as I only actually succeed to my personal satisfaction on about 1 out of every 5 pieces.  To begin with, that is. 

While the 1 out of 5 gets framed or at least matted and preserved in an acid free plastic sleeve, those remaining 4 get stashed in a “think about” drawer.  Later, they are reclaimed and usually recycled into something that I can live with.  Thus the 1 out of 5 ratio of success becomes 5 out of 5, simply because I refuse to give in! 

How do I reclaim the cast offs waiting in my “think about” drawer?  I sometimes can recycle the work by additional glazing with transparent paint, to soften or liven colors or distract the viewer from some clutzy shape.  Sometimes I can new shapes on top of the ones I don’t like.

If transparent glazing doesn’t do anything redemptive to my would-be masterpiece I then get out my Japanese papers, decorative paper napkins, gauze, and acrylic products.  Japanese unryu paper is great for softening colors and diffusing those shapes.  It’s semi transparent, with plant fibers in it, and it comes in shades of white and off-white.  When the unryu is secured with acrylic polymer it dries to a clear surface, easy to paint over—especially with acrylic paints, preferable at this point because they are waterproof whereas the underlying watercolors are not. 

New shapes can now be applied over the unryu paper.  If the new shapes are still clutzy and yucky, I can paint more new shapes over the dried acrylics—building relief and texture. 

Meanwhile, I tear up drifts of cotton cheesecloth—distorting it into interesting lines and patterns, and secure the cheesecloth here and there across the painting (again with polymer or with glossy acrylic gel medium).  The cheesecloth adds still more texture.

At this point I frequently get out the molding paste—another acrylic wonder.  Molding paste looks something like plaster, and it can be sculpted into raised designs forming mountains and rocks.  Often I smooth some molding paste over a surface, and then imprint it with a flower or leaf design from a copper stencil—or comb ridges into the paste with a hair pick.  The molding paste is white—not exactly my favorite color—so I nearly always brush over it after it dries, with something wonderful from my acrylic paint supply.

Sometimes I raid my stash of decorative paper napkins.  Every pretty paper napkin has at least 1 layer of backing, and often 2.  Very carefully I peel the backing pieces off the napkin, leaving a lovely see-through print.  When the napkin is applied with polymer, the effect resembles stained glass.

Finally, my piêce de resistânce—acrylic Interference® paints.  Interference® is a line of paint which is pearlescent in nature.  It comes in several different color combinations which shimmer and change as the painting is viewed from various aspects in changing patterns of light.  I have green/lavender, green/orange, and blue/lavender Interference® paints at present.  These, along with my copper and permanent magenta metallic paints, add touches of glitz.  And how I LOVE glitz!

The above picture is an example of a painting failure turned into a collage.  This one happens to be on gallery wrapped canvas, a good support when you think you may end up collaging with heavy textures.  I can’t recall what it started out to be:  perhaps a mountain, a tree and some flowers, or maybe our front door.  Whatever it was, I’m delighted with what it has become!

There are many wonderful products available and reasonably priced at online sources.  I love having time to play!  And I’m especially grateful that Winston Churchill has reminded me to “never give in”!  🙂

Margaret L. Been, ©2011

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