Red acrylic pouring

Why I Quit Acrylic Pouring

It started out as intrigue. It was a newness that promised a rich and rewarding experience with almost instant gratification. I had accidentally (or maybe by YouTube’s clever algorithmic play) chanced upon a video of acrylic pouring and had made a mental note to learn and try the technique out in the new year and so I did. For a month.

At the end of the month, I used up almost all of my large paint bottles, almost all my Floetrol and Liquitex Pouring Medium, used up a lot of my other supplies, and cleaned up my room. I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the technique of acrylic pouring. I found great joy and immense satisfaction in it. I found the instant gratification to be true and with just the right amount of thinking, creative insight, planning, and calming satisfaction. Yet, as the month drew to an end and I reached the end of my HUGE stash of canvases, I decided it was time to quit this beautiful art form even though I liked going from this –

to this…one of my biggest canvases – 24 x 36 inches.

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Here’s why:

I found the technique of acrylic pouring extremely wasteful.

For the first few pours, I used what I had been seeing on videos on YouTube. I used paper cups, wooden sticks, and disposable gloves but this waste just started accumulating and it soon started getting to me…..not to mention the plastic wraps around canvases, the plastic seals around paint bottles, the wasted paint that flowed off the canvases, and so on.

Soon, I switched to rubber latex gloves that I could re-use, used plastic cups for paints so I could wash them and re-use them again, and bought plastic coffee stir sticks. While I should have felt much better knowing that I was being environmentally cautious, I wondered about the amount of water I was wasting in washing off the dried and sometimes paint in my sink as well as the fact that I was polluting the environment in trying to do so. Not really a win-win now, is it!?

Eventually, this wastefulness, really, really got to me.

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I was spending way more money than I had intended to on what would best be considered a hobby for me.

I know some people make good money doing acrylic pouring. I know just how much work and effort goes into producing a masterpiece with this technique of painting and I have a lot of respect for these folks. Clearly, I am NOT one of these folks and I am perfectly and gratefully okay with that.

Since I knew I wasn’t going to make money doing this, at best, learning to do this new form of art was like taking an art course and spending a lot of money without any direct ROI. In paints, pouring mediums (Floetrol, Liquitex, Artists’ Loft Flow), and canvases, I spent a neat fortune. The sheer amount of paints needed was overwhelming which although understandable, hurt my dot artist sensibilities where I could buy one 2 oz bottle of paint and it would last me forever and a day.

Eventually, knowing that acrylic pouring would be no more than a hobby and a personal area of interest, I couldn’t justify the amount of money I was spending.

I did not expect to make any money from this art form given the number of people doing it and the general lack of appreciation for art that people have.

As explained above, this interest was only going to go as far as being a hobby. Perhaps if I had given it more time and more money, I would have acquired a certain level of expertise and created a sell-worthy piece of art, but truth be told, all the reasons I cite here, collectively were getting to me and there was no way I was going to last long.

I found my studio getting way too cluttered and messy with canvases, paints, that was much outside my generally flexible clutter/mess threshold.

I am privileged to have a generous studio for a dot artist – an entire room to myself. However, once I started getting, I mean really getting into acrylic pouring, my studio looked like it had gone through a massacre of paints and supplies.

There were canvases everywhere in every shape and size – blank ones, poured ones, set to dry ones…a corner of my room was for dotting but the bigger part of the room was completely taken over by acrylic pouring and it slowly started driving me crazy.

I could no longer stand the messiness of the process of this art form and how it was taking over my entire studio, ruining my carpets with accidental paint drips, and making me and the kids having to walk around everything worse than we would, on egg shells.

I missed dotting too much.

I became an artist when I sold my first piece of dot art. Since then, my love and interest in dot art has only grown. With every piece I sell, I feel a furthered sense of gratitude, humility for the art, and a renewal of spirit. I did not get the same feeling from acrylic pouring and not only because I didn’t sell (or try particularly hard to anyway) any piece.

I did pouring because I wanted to learn this new technique, uncover its mystery, and do something different. All of these goals were fulfilled and I am grateful, truly and entirely grateful, to have had the opportunity to do so.

In conclusion, I am really glad I dabbled in acrylic pouring. It is a beautiful form of painting and it takes a lot of pre-planning, knowledge of some chemistry, patience, awareness of colors and how they work together, and other skills of this nature. I am thrilled that I got to have some beautiful art to show for it. One of my paintings now adorns our mantle. Our hallway is my art gallery decorated with my art work. I am proud of my work and what I was able to accomplish within a month. While I am not biding adieu to acrylic pouring forever, I will be on a hiatus from this art work and resuming my work in dotting, something I have missed very much.

acrylic pouring

Hello 2019! To new beginnings..

The year has been off to an incredibly creative start for me… While taking on new year resolutions and well, breaking them are a cliche for a lot of people, including yours truly, I wonder if this holds true when resolutions are of a creative kind.

To be honest, I have never made any resolution resolutely, if I may. In other words, I have never seriously said, “I am going to do this or that or lose this much weight or accomplish this…” Now, sure, I have silently said these things to myself as “would be nice to do” but never in the attitude of “must be done this year!”

This year, however, I did decide on two goals to have accomplished by December 2019:
1. Learn and create acrylic pour paintings.
2. Learn lettering/calligraphy.

So far, I have dabbled with both, particularly with the first one. As a beginner, I have had many challenges in figuring out acrylic pouring. One would think it is an intuitive process but there is a lot of technique to it too. There is chemistry, there are many ways to derive formulae, there are many techniques, and there are tens of hundreds of people doing this form of art and more joining in every day.

So far, while I am enjoying it, I am really not liking the wastefulness that comes along with it. I’ll write more on this at a later date including writing about how I have successfully reduced waste in this art form. Suffice to say, even though I have a long way to go in really figuring out and “mastering” this form of painting, I am not quite sure I will be sticking with it the entire year. I continue to find dotting therapeutic and even though my current focus has primarily been acrylic pouring, I look forward to returning to my mandalas soon.

Photo Credit: Zaksheuskaya via Pexels.Com

Suchitra at West Elm

Essaberry at West Elm

I recently had the great pleasure of setting up shop at my local West Elm. I was a featured artist at their Pop-Up Market and I so appreciated the opportunity. I had a bunch of people come over and appreciate my work and I humbly accepted the praise and compliments. I also made a few sales which as always is great validation for the amount of time, effort, love, and passion I devote to my work. I look forward to becoming a more regular artist at West Elm.

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity West Elm.


Mandala on Wood and LP Vinyl Records

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