I tend to save old paintings in a stack in my garage and often revisit them years later to see if I want to salvage or repurpose them in some way. Several months ago, I dug this painting out of the "scrap" pile and made some modifications to it. Originally it was called "House of Cards" because at the time (10 years ago!) I was painting a series about luck. This painting has been sitting in my studio for a few months, but I picked it up the other day and had an "aha" moment. Now, in the midst of a worldwide corona virus pandemic, the painting seems to reflect our current social isolation (everyone is spaced far apart). Eerie, right? My paintings often tell a story, but I hadn't realized how the story can change with the passing of time. "Story" paintings can take on a whole new meaning when viewed in a different context.
I have been marbling (using watered down acrylics sprinkled into a tray filled with carrageenan) since I discovered this magical technique way back in 2006. As I transitioned from painting in watercolors to painting in acrylics (on paper or canvas), I looked through piles of my old watercolor paintings and decided to marble over them and give them a whole new look.
One of my more successful "do-overs" was a neutral toned landscape. I chose a reddish brown color to do the initial marbling, and then, as you can see in the images below, I rotated the painting to make it a vertical. Responding to what I saw on the paper, I composed a diagonal grouping of red tulips and did freehand painting using diluted washes of acrylic, making sure I varied my reds.
At the very end, I wasn't satisfied with the bright green leaf I'd painted in, so I collaged a piece of marbled paper onto that leaf shape and the piece was finished. I posted it on facebook and a client bought it right away! "Red Tulips and Green"; acrylic marbling/collage on paper, 10 x 14".
Artist Liz Walker
I'm a painter/art instructor who lives and works in Portland, Oregon.
All images and text copyright 2012-2020 by Liz Walker
Site Last Updated:1/19/2021