Sunday, August 1, 2010


Admittedly, I wouldn't consider myself much of a painter. I prefer to work in dry media because I feel like I have better control. At one of my final semesters at UCF I enrolled in an Advanced Drawing class. Because only a small number of students signed up, we were all moved into the Advanced Painting class. The instructor told us that we were welcome to draw, however, he encouraged us to paint because that was the only thing he was going to teach. I decided to go with the flow and try to learn something new. To my disappointment the instructor was reluctant to teach the basics of painting and I found myself working in a unfamiliar medium with little direction. I had never taken a painting class before and now I was in an advanced class trying to figure out how to do simple things like use a brush. The only thing the instructor would tell me was that he "didn't like my brush strokes". When I asked him how I could improve my technique he would only offer vague advice like "just keep trying". 

One day he came up to me and again proclaimed that he "didn't like my brush strokes". In a moment of frustration I threw my brush down and said "FINE!". I smeared paint all over my hands and forearms and rubbed them all over the canvas. I rarely used a brush in his class after that. 

"The Sneeze"

After I painted the background yellow I used my finger tips to create the field of green. For the blue, I soaked a rubber dog toy in paint and slapped it against the canvas.

"The Spark"

This affect was achieved by flicking the paint on to the canvas. 


For this piece I layered thin waves of green over a yellow background. Thick globs of dark green and blue were dropped onto the canvas.

"The Flare"

For this one I painted spurts of red and splattered black on top.

As frustrating as the process was in the beginning, I have to say that I did enjoy the liberation that came from choosing not to use a brush. Shortly before I began these paintings I had started to work with a performance art company called DRIP. The first show I was involved with was one we did for the Orlando Fringe Festival called "WET". During "WET" the dancers used their bodies as a way to move paint and create art. As I worked on these paintings I began to see it as my way to better understand DRIP and use my own body as a medium to create.

Being in a class I was uncomfortable in, being willing to try something new, and ultimately finding my own solutions, helped me relate to art in a brand new way. I was no longer just the creator, I was actively involved and participating on a whole new level.

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