For those who need more structure, this could also be titled “Pourers Anonymous.”
This July will be my one year anniversary of my own journey with acrylic pouring, my favorite fascinating hobby/obsession/possible career.
Like many of you, I’m completely addicted. Now, when I say addicted, I mean like, 12-step-program addicted. So I put this together to face my problem head-on.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I am guilty of plagiarizing from the book Confessions of a Shopaholic, 12-step groups in general, plus many gifted writers on various Facebook Groups, YouTube videos, and the whole internet, whose phrases, jokes and/or headers I’ve “borrowed” to write this piece.
Can I get away with it if I give credit to you all? Here’s credit for you, and credit for you. I give credit to you and you…Thank you to every addicted pourer out there whose similar experiences have planted the seeds for this article!
The Twelve Steps of Pouraholics Anonymous
- Admitted I am powerless over acrylic pouring—that my life and my Facebook feed has transformed from the quintessential, “I hate Donald Trump and everything he stands for” to a calm, beautiful place of my and others’ creative expressions. All day long acrylic pouring art floods my screen, and it makes me happy. I admit that I dream (literally) of pouring; I tap my foot impatiently for my husband to leave in the morning so I can break out a canvas and make something gorgeous; and I no longer care if he hogs the remote control and watches another boring show about physics…because I can watch YouTube videos on my phone with people pouring paint!
- Came to believe that a website—AcrylicPouring.com—is greater than myself and could restore me to sanity, but I was wrong. It just made me want to try different types of pours or perfect my technique. Let’s face it, my sanity was in question to begin with! Keep reading and you will agree.
- Made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of Deby Coles, founder of the Facebook group Acrylic Pouring. She is awesome. Thank you, Deby, for showing us the way. Be warned though, readers. Watch her videos or those from other contributors to this site and you, too, will become addicted.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself—and my paint supplies—then went and bought more paint. And some Floetrol. Hmmm, I need more wax paper, and a palette knife. And, oh, hey, are those disposable gloves on sale?
- Admitted to my husband, my daughter, and my mother the exact nature of my wrongs…while I was doing my fourth pour of the day (and it was only 10 a.m.). Hand painting birch trees over an acrylic pour, oooh, ahhh…
- Am entirely ready to have Deby and the Acrylic Pouring staff remove all these defects of character. Especially when I see the male anatomy in sooooo many paintings—too many paintings. A fellow pourer calls this pournography. I’m not looking for them, I promise you! They’re just everywhere!
- Humbly asked her to remove my YouTube password because it is interfering with my obsessive YouTube viewing of Wigglz’ Art, Nicky James Burch, Sandra Lett, Annemarie Ridderhof, Caren Goodrich, Rick Cheadle, and MelyD.artist, just to name a few. You would die laughing if you saw my feeble attempts at recreating anything done by Wigglz’Art or Sandra Lett. Seriously. I’ve never let anyone see those disasters.
- Made a list of all persons I had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. …So I invited them over and we had a pouring party. Coasters for EVERYONE!
- Made paintings for such people wherever possible, except when doing so would injure them or others. Heck, who am I kidding? I made them a painting anyway—buy some health insurance.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when I was wrong, promptly ignored that and tried the String method for the fifteenth time. SERIOUSLY, IT’S NOT THAT EASY!
- Sought through Facebook posting to improve contact with other pourers and get them to ‘Like’ my latest pour and tell me how incredible I am and how thought provoking my pieces are. Thanked them and asked questions repeatedly so that my post would surface to the top again and even more people would see my latest masterpiece and sing my praises. Who me, narcissist? There is nothing like having a total stranger tell you that you are talented, very artistic, or better yet, the next Osnat Tzadok.
…what do you mean you’ve never heard of her? GOOGLE HER RIGHT NOW!
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, I tried to carry this message to other pourers and to practice these principles in all my shopping at Michaels during their 70 percent off sale.
Sure, I’ve made some progress, but as you can see…I still have a LOT of work to do on my personal growth.
But let’s take a look back at how it all began…
I have been creative my whole life. I’m one of those people who sees beauty in everyday things: A tree, another tree, oh, look at THAT tree!
Colorful houses with robust gardens; classic cars; the beach; hair dyed turquoise and pink; flower boxes overflowing with gorgeous purple and pink pansies; tattoos, especially when they appear 3D-like; body painting; and the work of graffiti artists.
In my early years, coloring books were special, because I learned to outline with a dark color and use lighter ones for the inside—yay, shading! I have vivid memories from middle school of drawing flowers, oak trees (yes, trees), and platform shoes on everything.
I was especially fond of bubble lettering. Even though I’ve always been attracted to abstract art, I studied watercolor with renowned artist and teacher Ahuva Shweiki of Jerusalem. I distinctly remember her telling me that I would never be a great watercolorist because I was too rigid and structured (too OCD).
I hated it when my blue paint got mixed with my red or something equally absurd. So I bought into this notion. I own many abstract art books and just look through them with longing, wishing I could be free with my creativity.
Then along came acrylic pouring and many of my neuroses disappeared. For the first time in my creative life, I felt unencumbered by the rules, worry, stress, or feelings of inadequacy. It’s like I had been given permission to make a flippin’ mess. Heck, encouraged to make a flippin’ mess!
Mixing the paint is soothing and tranquil. All your cares float away as you envision what you are about to create. It is so satisfying to see the paint mixture hit the canvas and turn into something magical.
Through fluid pouring, I learned that abstract art IS achievable for those with a need for order and for a special bonus, INSTANT GRATIFICATION! Oooooh, look at the pretty cells.
Not only did this medium allow for a loose interpretation of art theory, it’s almost necessary. After an absence of over a decade, I’m back in the studio painting every day and loving every single minute of it.
Here I am creating abstract art and getting good at it. I have a store on Etsy and have sold a few paintings. Like others, I too turn my run-off into jewelry, and I’ve sold about 25 necklaces.
My husband hawks my wares (“STEP RIGHT UP, GET MY WIFE’S ACRYLIC POURING ART HERE…”) by going to jewelry shops, boutiques, and other tourist locations in Florida to see if he can get my name out there. We even have some of my paintings hanging in a restaurant hoping to generate a buzz and make a sale.
So, do I paint trees? But of course. Just completed a couple of lovelies with my first ever palm trees. Now I’m addicted to perfecting them. I paint them over a pour of the sky or a pour of the ocean.
My current career is stay-at-home-momma. My husband and I just retired from Medical Foster Care, and for the first time, I’m able to keep paints out, along with all the other paraphernalia you need to do acrylic pouring.
Prior to our retirement, this would not have been possible due to the strict Foster regulations—and we only took in babies, so there was no time for anything other than babies. We adopted a little girl out of care and I am able to stay home with her and be the volunteer momma at school that I was never able to be for my grown daughter when she was little.
I am very lucky in that both my husband and our 5-year-old tolerate my total takeover of our home. I literally have stuff everywhere. Half the garage, half the living room, all the walls, part of my husband’s office, and even half the master bedroom.
If I’m ever successful enough to have my own studio, I will be living the dream: Making money doing something I’m passionate about—art.
I have a command center set up in the living room (my studio)—yes, the area where you would normally watch TV and entertain guests—and I want to spend every spare moment of my time at my desk pouring or watching someone else pour (on my computer) so I can get new ideas.
I am completely guilty of ignoring housework, meals, laundry, and even friends and family (sorry, everyone!) because all I want to do is pour. Thankfully for me, my husband is very supportive and hasn’t complained about our house being taken over by my art and art supplies… yet.
My grown daughter introduced me to pouring, so she completely understands when I say, “I’m busy.” But you must understand: a) She is the one who introduced me to acrylic pouring when home last summer from Russia. Both she and her husband are international educators in the International American School System. b) She is the originator, my teacher, the brains, the technology, and my number one cheerleader for our joint business we call Oceans Apart Studios. Russia–Florida, get it? c) Where previously our conversations centered around my two grandchildren, now a FaceTime call now usually involves looking at a painting one of us has completed and asking, “I’m not sure if I like this latest painting. What do you think?” There is also the typical, “Have you tried pouring in a colander yet?” or, “Did you see that guy on YouTube with the spinning canvas?”
I’ve even had my 79-year-old mother (don’t tell her I told you her age!) over to pour with me. She lives near me, so we get to see one another often.
She was nervous about doing this because she didn’t want to waste paint or make a mess. Then she finally relaxed and began to have fun. I’ll include a few photos of us painting so you can see her efforts. She really enjoys it but doesn’t want the mess at her house, so when we paint, it’s here at Chez “Our carpet is already ruined by paint stains.”
Our 5-year-old has her own apron, her own paint, and begs me daily to let her join in the fun. BUT, being the selfish addict that I am, I don’t want to paint EVERY day with her because it takes away from MY time playing with paint! She does have three pours hanging proudly in Daddy’s office, though.
If I wouldn’t admit to being a hoarder before, I have to come to terms with it now. String method…I need string. Colander method…I need a colander. Dirty Pour, I need cups. Two-cup, three-cup, eight-cup dirty pour…I need a cupcake holder to put my cups in. Coasters, trivets…I need tiles from my local hardware store.
Run out of money and want more canvases? A quick trip to my local thrift store will produce ugly reproductions in awful frames that I can take home, clean and Gesso, and I’m back in business!
Every time I go to my favorite Facebook group, Acrylic Pouring, someone is sharing a new product they’ve just discovered, and it goes right on my list to purchase. By nature I’m the type of person who wants to have one of everything no matter what I’m working on, but this hobby/calling has taken on a whole life of its own. Now do you believe I’m an addict?
So here goes:
“Hello, my name is Patricia and I’m a pouring addict.”
Born in France, Patricia now calls Palm Coast, Florida, home, where she runs Oceans Apart Studios. She’s had the pleasure of raising two daughters and nineteen medical foster children. Now she specializes in watercolor, acrylic pouring, and custom jewelry taken from the run off of her paintings. Her pieces aim to capture the differences that make each woman uniquely beautiful. Check them out on Etsy.