The Ocean - learning how to make a finished product

The Ocean is a tryptic, non-contiguous, series I poured very early in my painting journey. Pouring this piece pushed me to learn more about creating a finished looking painting, one I would want to hang on a wall. You can see from the video below, there wasn't a lot of method to the pour other than the layering of the colors. Over the past two years, I've become much more methodical in my pours. Don't get me wrong, pour painting will always have some randomness to it but my goal has been to figure out how to harness the chaos into something beautiful and importantly into something that aligns with my vision.

I was so pleased with this series but it never quite felt finished to me. For example, I had added silicone to some of the paints for these pours. However, I hadn't laid down any paint on the canvas before pouring. Turns out, if you don't already have paint on the canvas, the silicone in the pour can create sections that actually reject paint. Sure enough, when I came to look at the dried paintings, there were a few white spots among the pour. I covered these up with gold paint to make it look intentional. I've never poured on blank canvas since (at least when silicone is present in the paint).

Related to this, since the liquid paint mix can be quite heavy and canvas isn't always perfectly stretched, after the paint was poured, you could see the white canvas on the edges here and there. Now I always put down a thick paint and floetrol (1:1 ratio) mix along the edges and sides of the canvas 24 hours before I pour. I usually go with a slightly darker color. If I also have some lighter colors in the mix, sometimes the dark shows through and looks super cool! If you don't like that, you can always use a lighter color to cover the edges.

All of these techniques to create a finished product have been an exercise in patience. Sometimes you just want to go into the studio and create. But if you don't do the work beforehand, it can really break your heart to have an almost perfect piece. Maybe others don't notice the imperfections in your work but as an artist, your eyes can't help but be drawn to those spots!

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