Early Forest Warning Paintings

I began my “Forest Warning” series in 2018, and started as usual with some small studies. At that time, a rather new painting approach was becoming “popular” on the web, called “paint pouring”. The major characteristic of this approach has to do with its completely unpredictable outcome, because of the rather free of hand pouring method that seemingly mixes and separates color layers that are sequentially added in the pour. At the beginning, most results are chancy or quasi-successful, but for a trained artist, it is not rewarding to accomplish a painting by chance. Thus, I continued with a few more pours, but then added an experimental touch with a brush.

poured paint and hybrid poured paint processes
“Earth Tree Ballad #1″, 16″ x 16”, Acrylic on panel, Thom Wright, 2018

As shown in my small hybrid of poured paint above, I wanted a tree design with a compliant medium of viscous paint with the panel ground showing also. At the bottom, I added several pieces of masking tape to save two horizontal unpainted lines. My choices of colors was kept simple, with red, white, and two shades of blue. There is very little control of the process, but I stopped the “pour” early, and made selective gestural shapes that suggest a tree. At the bottom, I included a black pouring, but in the upper tree section, I switched to a large round brush and dipped it in a thinned black paint, and painted into the poured red, white and blue area. As my additions of black took shape, I noticed too that I could manipulate the gestures of the existing colors as well. By stopping early in this brushing process, the whole of the poured paint still has an integrity of shape and playful swirling lines.

“Earth Tree Ballad #2″, 16″ x 16”, Acrylic paint on panel, Thom Wright, 2018

In my second attempt at this hybrid process as shown above, I did a more complex mixed and poured and stirred painting to begin it, then added the black lines at the end. Again, I think that this hybrid process combines the rich organic mixing of flowing paint with the suggestion of the drawn tree.

In my third and fourth tries at larger pieces and more complex color schemes, I met with failures. Having experienced the process, I came to the conclusion that my own gestural painting process is almost as rich, is better composed in both color schemes and in mark making, and leads to an integrated whole design. Thus, I abandoned the poured paint process and returned to my education and personal experience to pursue painting with meaning.

Published by Thom Wright Art

Thom Wright has combined his passions for art, music and engineering, and all of his practices have benefited each other. In 1986, he had an epiphany, one of those moments when he realized that he had to be a better artist. His subject matter moved toward contemporary issues, including geopolitics, global environment, technology, cultural and natural processes of change, and jazz. His abstracts also migrated towards mixed media and printmaking. These interests and processes continue in his art work. Desiring to improve his skills, theory and knowledge in art, he took early retirement from the Boeing Corp. in 1999 and entered art school full time. In May, 2006, he completed the MFA program in Drawing and Painting at California State University, Long Beach.

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