Action Painting – New Uses for Household Stuff


Abstract string painting

Using household items can be very helpful when applying paint and to make different marks and patterns.  Items such as a kitchen sponge, old bath brush or even a stick from your back yard can make interesting marks when you dip them into paint or use them to scrape back into the paint after you have applied it.  With these tools, it is interesting to make textures, shapes and patterns and this may result in an outstanding work.

I chose this old drawing which was made with string.  See my previous post on string painting to get the idea.

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I chose the colors of one of my favourite old masters, Pierre Bonnard, (French, 3 October 1867 – 23 January 1947.)

Pierre thought differently about color and light and often used purple, yellow and red together for maximum effect.  This had not been done before and sparked some controversy.

Bonnard The Bowl of Milk

The Bowl of Milk
[Le Bol de lait] 1919 The Bowl of Milk
Oil on canvas 116.2 (h) x 121.0 (w) cm Tate, London Bequeathed by Edward Le Bas 1967

This is the string painting after I have put the paint down with the stuff I found around the house.

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It is by no means a finished work and I will go back into it later with a stick and some ink to define the different areas.  I really don’t know where I will go with it after that but the painting will reveal itself as I progress and I am happy with the ambiguity of that process.

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This study of a ship was created by using charcoal, chalk, watercolor, wax, a biro, a pencil, ink and a stick from the garden.  With nothing in mind originally, my focus was on making interesting marks with the materials available.



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