What paints do you use?

For the most part, I rely on acrylic paints.

I clean it, thin it, spread it around with water. I mix in graphite pencils, pastels, colored pencils, charcoal along with my layers of acrylic paints and mediums. In acrylic paint pigment is suspended in a polymer emulsion. That’s a real fancy way of saying the flakes of color float in plastic.

Yes. Plastic.

Anyone picturing 1960s, 70s? Life moving faster. Cars that had enough metal they could be used in combat. Who thought about seat belts when you could ride shotgun on the armrests in the front seat? Or shoot men to the moon? Images were transmitted and moved on the screen of the box we called a television. Recognizable were some faces and stories we saw on that box. But other images of conflict across oceans were not so familiar. Video. Paintings weren’t always of things we could name. And sometimes the works were just about being able to do it: the act of painting. Polyester. Drive-in movies and foods. These were my formative years. Then. The experiences and images live in my cells. I still feel them and see them in memories. Now.


According to Merriam Webster, Plastic is “any of numerous organic synthetic or processed materials that are mostly thermoplastic or thermosetting polymers of high molecular weight and that can be made into objects, films, or filaments.”

Other definitions include capable of being molded, adaptive to varying conditions, or capable of being deformed continuously and permanently in any direction without rupture. Pliable, Creative.

And as an artistic medium, acrylic painting fits both descriptions.

I look around and see the world as a dynamic place. Change is constant. It feels my very existence is pliable and creative. When I layer and scrap around paint, add in charcoal, colored pencils, the act is dynamic. I remember something. I see something new. For me, using an innovative and new medium such as acrylic fits with my experience of life.

Then and now; endings or new beginnings?

Here’s another 5 Reasons Why You Should Try Acrylic by Eli Hill as he refers to Rhéni Tauchid, an artist and author of the 2018 book Acrylic Painting: Mediums & Methods

Luscious, thick color suspended in plastic…..acrylic paint!

Luscious, thick color suspended in plastic…..acrylic paint!

Ellen HathawayComment