COLUMNISTS

Solo artistic outing a success

Susan Manzke
Susan with her finished painting and her teacher, Bambi Lint.

On May first, Rebecca treated me to a Resin art class at Swanstone Gardens, Green Bay. It was taught by Tracy Gierczak. That day we learned about painting with epoxy resin. I ended my class with a breadboard and two coasters.

While at my resin pouring class, I was drawn to another upcoming lesson called Acrylic Pour Painting. The catalog said, Come and meet Bambi Lint owner of Wow Creations. Bambi is a juried artist … with many years of experience. You will learn many techniques and styles of acrylic pour to create fun, bright colored, happy paintings. You will take home a 12 X 12 canvas.

Some time ago, I had seen an acrylic pouring demonstration on the Internet. The technique fascinated me. I thought about trying it using YouTube instructions, but the possibility of going into the expense of buying supplies, and then messing up had me hesitant.

As soon as I read about Bambi’s acrylic pour class I knew I wanted to take it. The supplies were all part of the class. The trouble was Rebecca had her weekend filled and wouldn’t be able to join me.

This photo was taken before the real paint-pouring began.

So many times past Swanstone Gardens classes filled and had waiting lists. I didn’t want to be left out so I signed up for the July 17 class. I thought I would ask a friend to meet me there. That way we could visit and spend some quality time together while learning.

It turned out that the friends I approached didn’t have time for the class. Like Rebecca, all weekends were filled.

Okay, I’d go alone.

Two days before the art class, I got a reminder call from David Calhoon of Swanstone Gardens. He informed me that there were still spots open for the class. I tried my friends again. The funny thing was the only ones who had time lived hours away.

I packed up my courage and headed to the class on my own.

Unlike the resin class, the students for Bambi’s acrylic pouring session fit around one table. This was great. We’d be able to pick her brain and get more help since she wouldn’t be distracted by too many other student projects. Of course, the small class meant less income—at least I didn’t chicken out and stay home.

My seat at the table was right next to our teacher. Every time Bambi talked, I listened intently. The main ingredients were paints, a pouring medium, and silicone oil. Of course, a canvas was also needed.

This messy type of painting meant that the first thing we had to do was to put on an apron and latex gloves. I wore old clothes, which was also a good idea. I know how messy I can get.

Bambi explained about the supplies that were on the table and then she set to work.

Like the resin class, the hardest part of this project was choosing the three or four colors that would make up my creation. I decided on red, white, blue, and black, with some silver thrown in, too.

Susan’s finished Acrylic Pour Painting.

As our teacher had demonstrated, I layered my colors in a plastic cup. From there I was to flip the full cup (about six ounces of paint) onto the canvas. Now that’s a scary operation, but I did it without pouring everything on myself or my neighbor.

After flipping, the cup sits there, upside-down, and we wait. It has to settle. After a few minutes, I was told to pick up the cup and let the colors free.

Tipping the canvas back and forth is how I distributed my paint. First, I went to the left and then to the right. This kind of painting has a mind of its own.

Eventually, paint is allowed to flow over the edge of the canvas, painting all the sides, too, and my wrists. I kind of went beyond my gloves.

I had a blast and I ended up with a painting I now have hanging on my wall.

If I had waited for someone to join me in this adventure, I never would have gone. My advice is to join others, but when no one can join you, Go Anyway! Right now I’m considering taking another class. It will be fun if I go with a friend, or alone, but I intend to go just the same.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; sunnybook@aol.com; www.susanmanzke.net/blog.