Painting With Acrylic: An Ever-Curious Approach to Art-Making

Oh, happy day! Acrylic painting is taking the art community by storm, and so our team is happy to share with you the newest and highly-awaited issue of Acrylic Artist magazine. “In many ways, acrylic painters are like the Lewis and Clark of the art world,” says editor Anne Hevener in the summer issue of Acrylic Artist. “With a readiness for exploration, they’re constantly charting new territory, pushing boundaries, and making new discoveries. Sure, as individuals they’re as distinct as any group of artists, but there seems to be a common tenet among the medium’s enthusiasts that encourages a bold and ever-curious approach to art-making.”

Get the fall issue here, and in the meantime, enjoy this selection of acrylic paintings, accompanied by each artist’s statement.

acrylic painting by Michael James Riddet

Knowledge Is Power (acrylic on hardboard, 12×9) by Michael James Riddet.

Be a Storyteller
“After I had used oil and watercolor for many years, my wife told me to try her acrylics. Being a purist, I wanted nothing to do with this new “plastic” medium. Out of curiosity, however, I decided to do a small painting with this alien medium and, to my surprise, I was delighted. The year was 1977, and I’ve used nothing else since. In Knowledge Is Power, the books are from my library, and most titles were selected to represent the past, present, and future of the newly fledged robin. As a side note, the robin was initially sculpted, life size, in clay and then stuck to the old cane as a working model before painting began.” ~Michael James Riddet 

acrylic portrait by Myrna Wacknov

Home Alone (acrylic, gesso, collage, ink, and watercolor crayons on watercolor paper, 22×30) by Myrna Wacknov

Try Something New
“Home Alone came about because of my desire to get beyond simply copying a photograph. I started out drawing an accurate line drawing from a photograph of myself. Looking at the first drawing, I did a second drawing. With the goal of simplifying each time, I drew four more times from each previous image. The result was a stylized portrait, which I found strangely appealing. I combined this image with an experimental mixed-media process from a new book I’d purchased. The result was nothing like any image in that book or any image I’d ever painted. Dream realized!” ~Myrna Wacknov

abstract acrylic art by Ronald Brischetto

Terrascape No. 21 (acrylic and Venetian plaster on stretched canvas, 30×40) by Ronald Brischetto

Make It Tactile
“If you’re like me, you’re drawn to the tactile feel of art. I’ve always tried to push the envelope–to go beyond creating the illusion of texture with line, value, and color to create a compelling piece that makes a viewer want to touch the art. I finally found what works for me: Venetian plaster. In a 12-step process, I layer plaster all over the canvas, while adding color with acrylic paint. Every layer needs to be applied thinly and built up to create depth. After applying the first layer, before the plaster dries completely, I inscribe designs using a technique called sgraffito. I continue adding more layers of plaster and paint, and more inscribing, until a finished piece emerges. It’s fun to watch people reach for the canvas, being tempted to touch it. I’m not alone!” ~Ronald Brischetto

If you enjoyed this newsletter, then I know you’ll love the fall issue of Acrylic Artist, which boasts more than 120 pages of acrylic painting techniques and inspiration. Some of the highlights include:
• “Passionate, Stylish, Spontaneous” by John A. Parks: Richard M. Greene’s later-in-life career brims with vitality.
• “Minutiae en Masse” by Austin R. Williams: Greg Navratil’s nature scenes combine heightened realism with a strong underlying abstract sensibility.
• “The Acrylic Advantage” by M. Stephen Doherty: Charles Harrington offers a basic understanding of the unique qualities and quirks of acrylics.

See the complete table of contents here, and get your copy today!

Happy painting,
Cherie

Cherie Haas, online editor
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