Friday, December 31, 2010

Small quick paintings

These are part of series of small paintings I have been doing as an exercise in what I guess you could call automatic painting. The idea is too work fast, don't think, don't stop, and spend no more than 30 minutes or so on any of them. 

All of these were done mostly in that fashion, although I must admit, I did fudge the timing on a few by not counting hairdryer time to dry certain passages in order to add a new layer wet over dry.

These were done on 14x17 inch mixed-media paper. The very first layers were usually done with a palette knife, and were scraped on very thin, basically staining the paper, and drying almost as fast as it was put down. I have these fluid acrylics that have a very high pigment load and are great for this kind of stuff. This enabled me to start working over the top of this first layer right away, unless as I said, the hairdryer was brought out.

This is something I have been doing a lot of in various forms lately. The idea is to try and turn off your inner critic by working very fast and without stopping. I still have those moments when I see something I think is terrible, but I just shake it off and keep going. 

Much like automatic writing or sketching, there are always interesting little things that you discover afterward that probably would have never happened if you were working with any specific intent. More of these to come.

I should probably do a half dozen or so of these everyday.


  1. I love small paintings, and I enjoy the energy that happens when working quickly. It's fun getting lost in the story of line and color! :)

  2. Hi Nikko,
    I saw your paintings @ LMM.ning and love your compositions and use of colours. Stay well.