“OOh, nice cells!” “Wow, look at all those cells!” “Can you tell me how you got all those huge cells?” “I love the cells in this one.”
Are you obsessed with the ‘cells’ that you can get in acrylic pouring? I admit I love them, but sometimes it’s a love-hate relationship. They are difficult to control. Sometimes you might want cells and they just don’t happen today. Other times you might want a few cells and you get far more than you bargained for and the painting might look too ‘busy’. Sometimes you might torch for a few cells and then get them all over like a rash – and you decide you preferred it before! Torching is one decision on a painting design that you simply can’t take back.
I laughed out loud at a comment in the Facebook group last week when one member likened too many cells to a nasty case of smallpox. So true, sometimes too many is worse than none at all. Much worse. I’ve had this plenty of times where I wish I had just left it as it was.
Although many of us strive to get cells in our paintings through working out a magic recipe or formula that seems to work for us and our paint brands, it’s not always necessary to cover the canvas with cells in order to create a truly awesome painting. Acrylic pouring and flow art is all about the flow and movement of the paint, the blending of the colors, the overall composition as well as the tiny details. I’ve seen some truly amazing poured pieces that don’t have any cells at all and still they are mesmerizing.
I don’t think I’m alone in really enjoying all the paintings without cells. Two of the most popular threads in our Facebook Group over the last couple of weeks have been sharing threads for paintings without cells. Everyone has embraced them enthusiastically and shared all their best works without a cell in sight. What a wonderful collection of art it is.
I encourage you to come on over to our Facebook Group and check out these two threads full of the most awesome poured paintings where cells aren’t needed to create beautiful art. If you aren’t a member, you will need to apply to join before you can see the threads I think, but I’ll approve your application as soon as I can.
Charlotte asked “Anyone do pretty pours without cells? Would love to see some!”
So, in conclusion, no, you and your paintings are not failures if you don’t get cells. It is not the only measure by which a poured painting is deemed a successful pour. You can have a thousand cells but if your color scheme is making you queasy then it’s not a successful painting (oh yes I’ve made plenty of horrible color choices). The most elegant, striking and successful pours need not have any cells at all to be 100% glorious.
Embrace the randomness of the pour. Go with the flow. Don’t worry that your painting is not a success unless you have cells. There are far more important things in creating art than cells. Be different, have fun, enjoy and relax.
After being told in high school that she was so bad at art that she should switch to another subject, Deby didn’t paint again for 35 years. Then a stroke released a new wave of creativity and she began exploring with dot painting, abstract and eventually acrylic pouring, and at last the joy of working with color returned. You don’t need ‘talent’ to be an acrylic pouring artist – just enthusiasm, some basic instruction, and a willingness to try, fail and try again. Paint along with her and learn from her many mistakes, and you’ll soon make great art together.