Working with larger paintings sometimes can be a challenge to many artists, but Jesusa Calanasan has found a successful way to produce this kind of work. In this week’s episode of fluid arts podcast, you are going to meet Jesusa and the technique she developed for larger paintings.
Meeting Jesusa Calanasan
Jesusa is a fluid artist who lives in a province called Bulacan, right beside Manila in the Philippines. Her journey in acrylic pouring began with smaller canvases back in 2016 but after much effort, dedication, and trial and error has her paid off in many interesting ways.
Of course, initially, she did not consider herself an expert at that time but instead she had recently moved into her newly built home and the walls in it were desperately in need of some fluid artwork. Her real aim was to create really larger paintings of course however she felt it would be better to start her newer hobby with smaller ones (which we think was a really smart decision that has paid off tenfold!)
How Did The Larger Paintings Work Begin
Once Jesusa created her first pieces, she decided to post them on social media’s such as Facebook and Instagram. To her surprise, friends, relatives, and their friends would notice her paintings and then several contacted her directly asking if she did commissions. That’s when she started venturing into selling her works.
Once she noticed the paintings in her home starting to stack up, she decided to share her work with more people. This led to her joining an art fair at a local mall in the Philippines and then more recently began her venture into a prestigious art gallery.
Naming Your Work
Jesusa likes to name her paintings. “It’s similar to giving the pet you love a name and you can easily remember it. Once the collector buys your painting then they can either keep it or rename it themselves.“
One pretty example is her painting “Plum Blossom.” It was a lunar new year show with a Chinese theme and after browsing the internet for some inspiration, she thought about doing a Chinese-style flower. In this process she discovered the Magnolia plum blossom lotus and after mirroring one of the images onto the canvas that caught her attention, she was pleased that what you see above actually was her first attempt.
Pouring Technique for Larger Paintings
Some of the techniques Jesusa has used consisted of an art medium known as floetrol but she’s having a hard time getting one living in the Philippines. With this being the case, she normally makes due with whatever pouring medium she can get her hands on. There are several types that she has tried and each brand’s consistency is a little different but one of her favorite’s that most are familiar with is called “liquitex” and the ratio she uses is 1/4 paint and 3/4 medium. She mentions in our conversation that if others use different brands to expect the need for this ratio to change. In none of her large paintings does she add silicone (due to the weather living in the Philippines she’s having a hard time taking off the silicone when it’s time to varnish), oil, or any oily additives. Just the pouring medium “liquitex”
Smaller or Larger Pieces?
Jesusa definitely prefers larger paintings as she gets to express herself in many more ways since there’s more area to cover. In our conversation on the podcast she mentions “Smaller paintings can definitely be beautiful and most times they are but when you put them on your wall (especially at an art show) I’ve felt like my stories often times get cut shorter than what I like.”
Portraying in galleries
When Jesusa’s paintings started to get famous, a gallery owner called her to invite her to portray her works in their gallery. The gallery is called “Galerie Joaquin” and you can see some of her displayed work here! They have 10 branches in the Philippines, one in Singapore, and they were able to do some collaborations within some countries around the world (including the USA.) This was definitely a good opportunity for her to spread her work.
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Thanks, and we look forward to sharing our next episode!