April 6th, 2019 / posted by paularath

“Blessings from Sea and Sky,” a new acrylic painting on gallery wrap canvas.          24 x 24″

I have recently returned to acrylic painting.

For quite awhile I’ve struggled with watercolors. When traveling, watercolors are by far the most practical medium. All you need is a little (or even tiny) palette of paint pans, a pad of watercolor paper, a few brushes and you’re good to go. It’s easy to paint anywhere because it doesn’t leave a mess.

However, acrylics can’t be placed in a carry on, so you have to pack them in a suitcase. And woe unto you if the tubes should leak or burst. Auwe! And, yes, they can leave quite a mess anyplace you choose to paint (hotel carpet, friend’s table, cruise ship veranda) especially if you don’t have a proper palette. So, watercolors make sense.

But I really love the versatility of acrylics. I find them to be more forgiving than watercolors. The layering is exciting and varies widely, depending on how wet or dry the paint underneath happens to be, and you can pretty easily control and manage the wetness. Also, acrylics are so conducive to collage.

“Breaking Big at Shark’s Cove”,” a highly textured acrylic painting on gallery wrap canvas.

Another feature of acrylics is texture. You can add all sorts of textures to the canvas, thick and thin, smooth and rough. You can build them up in areas and leave other sections smooth. Sometimes I use a little sand I picked up on the beach, especially fun for seascapes.

By the way, both of these paintings were something entirely different in another life. After living with them for sometime, I decided they just weren’t right. So I came up with another direction and inspiration and went at them anew.

However, I left a tiny bit of each of the old paintings intact. I learned that from teacher George Woollard. He advises never to obliterate an entire painting, but to keep a bit of it to add character and depth to your new work. I love playing peek-a-boo with a painting!

If you would like to see more of my work, including a few of the “Sand & Sea” fiber art works, go to www.paulaandjerryart.com

-Paula Rath


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