What began as a challenge for an Expressive Art project led to a fun family experience with my most difficult medium. After taking a class at our local library, I decided this was too fun to keep to myself. First, we prepared our surfaces and gathered the materials to experiment with some acrylic pour paintings.
Acrylic Pour Supplies:
Next, we covered the working surface with plastic or newspapers. To keep the canvas out of the run off we, placed push pins on the back (corners) of each canvas. To mix paints, each color is mixed in individual cups with a 3:1 ratio of paint to mixing medium and thinned with water as needed (should drip or flow from the stir stick). Cells are created by adding a few drops of silicone which is folded in a few times. The mixed paints are poured or layered into a primary cup and this is known as a “dirty pour”. Place the canvas on top of the cup in the center while flipping the cup and the canvas over. Allow the cup to sit a few minutes and gradually raise the cup. Tip the canvas from side to side and cover the entire surface. Use stir sticks to wipe dripping paint from the bottom of the canvas. If the sides are not completely covered, dip your finger into the runoff paint and tap until all white canvas corners and sides are covered.
From the first pour my daughter said, “I feel like I lost myself in this project. It was fun to focus on colors and what naturally happened. There was no need to try to control the design, but just let what happened-happen.”
“It was a relaxing experience and fun to watch what happens as the cells appear. I am looking forward to making the next one.” This from my husband who doesn’t consider himself artistic.
Second pour, my daughter said, “I really needed this!” This project was such a success with my family members who are excited about trying new methods and taking the time to relax, create and embrace art with each other.
Suggestions for bringing Acrylic Pour to the clinical setting:
The formulas are a mixture of acrylic paint with an extending medium. The following pictures were used with the “dirty pour method”. Paints were mixed using a 3:1 ratio of mixing medium (floetrol) to paint. Three to five colors were selected. I would recommend joining an online support group to determine which combination of mediums you prefer and introduction to new methods:
Dr. Jamie Marich
Curator of the Dancing Mindfulness expressive arts blog: a celebration of mindfully-inspired, multi-modal creativity
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© Mindful Ohio & The Institute for Creative Mindfulness, 2021
Dancing Mindfulness/The Institute for Creative Mindfulness is an organizational member of the International Association of Expressive Arts Therapists, the Dance First Association, and NALGAP: The Association of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Addiction Professionals and Their Allies; Dancing Mindfulness proudly partners with The Breathe Network and Y12SR: The Yoga of 12-Step Recovery in our shared missions.