Tuesday, November 3, 2015

What Have I Got to Lose?

How is it that absence can have such pervasive presence?


I just recently became aware—at a rudimentary level—of a technique called negative painting. I know next to nothing about it. But I have my sunny little bedroom-turned-studio, and I have my paints, and I have a canvas board that I found in a pile of supplies.

What the heck—why not experiment with negative painting? What have I got to lose?

I use a plastic palette knife to get a bunch of colors onto my canvas. I work fast, go with my gut. I spritz water over the canvas and scrape with the tip of the palette knife to create some thin twig-like lines of absence.

Instead of painting trees and branches and leaves, I take a brush and paint the negative space that might exist around trees and branches and leaves.

The experience and the painting itself don't quite match what I had in mind when I started.

But what does!

Screw Auger Falls Birches
14x11", acrylic on canvas board

Sneak peek at Screw Auger Falls Birches in process:


  1. Thanks, Sheila. Have you been painting lately??? I thought of you last week when one of my tutorial students brought me a sunflower : )

  2. Hi Dotty,
    Your bookmarks are great.....I used to laminate the bookmarks I made from negative paintings (or pieces of) and give them as gifts.One of my friends used to call me Laurie the Laminator. ha! I love negative painting, and in fact have focused in on it (for teaching) as a great technique on it's own, or as parts of paintings. Lots of my florals have negative painting in the leaves, etc. So much fun! Keep painting and writing!!

  3. Hi Laurie, bookmarks are great fun! I give them as gifts, too. By the by, it was your discussion of negative painting on your blog that got me to experiment with it, though I confess I know just about nothing about it. Thanks for popping in with comments; they've been welcome embraces in this upended time I'm going through. I continue to visit your blog, continue to love love love your paintings.