Besides collage, painting is my other favorite art activity. All my arting and crafting is therapeutic, but painting feels the most freeing. With collage, I start with an idea of where I’d like to go with it or what I want a piece to look like. When painting, though, I start with a blank canvas and go into it with absolutely no expectations or plans. I pick colors and tools on the whim of the moment and try different techniques just to see what will happen.
I call it “intuitive painting”, an approach that allows me to explore important areas of myself that I want to develop: acceptance of things I can’t change, patience with the learning process, taking the unexpected in stride, eliminating the desire for perfection. If I love the results of my painting, up on my virtual art gallery it goes and the original is saved to admire or given as a gift. If I’m not fond of the result, I accept that as part of the process and I send it off as mail art in hopes that someone else may enjoy it.
” In art as in love, instinct is enough. ” – Anatole France
The experimental nature of my instinctive painting is enhanced by using unexpected tools to paint with. One that I’m using lately is a credit card to create backgrounds with wide swaths of color. The painting pictured here makes heavy use of that technique. All the wide bands of red, yellow, blue and black color are created by swiping paint across the paper with the edge of a credit card.
Save your expired credit cards. Keep your gift cards when you’ve used up all the money on them. Keep the plastic promotional cards you sometimes receive in your junk mail. These can all be reused for painting and other creative uses.
The various benefits of a credit card paint applicator make me happy. It spreads the paint as thin as possible so that only a little paint covers a tremendous surface area. I always think to myself “who would’a thunk it?” when I see a small dab of paint cover half a page of paper. The thin coverage makes for interesting color blending. In my piece, yellow is the base color with the blue, red and black painted atop it. The two-toned reds and blues give a little depth to a simple painting. The thin coverage also allows for nearly instant drying of the paint. That means you can finish a piece of art in one sitting, versus over a few hours or a few days when you have to wait for paint to dry. Painting with a credit card makes painting fast, easy and cheap so I can have more fun.
Read about more art techniques and be inspired!