Flow Art Group

In Spanish and English.

When: Once a month in my studio. Duration 90+ minutes.  If you have a group of 3-8 people, call/whatsapp me for a class any time: +34 661 159 964. I can also do a class in an asociación de vecinos.

Where: Horacio Nelson 26 in Santa Cruz. Enter via the garage door with the fish. 

Bring old clothes. If you forget, there are old clothes here you can wear. 

Cost: 10€ for the first session. For subsequent sessions, just make a bizum donation for the materials you use. 

First session: I will give some techniques to start you off. You will drip and pour, you won’t touch the canvas.

These techniques require 2-3 days to dry, so you will need to come back to pick up the art you created. Take photos or videos during the process! You may find that your artwork has changed dramatically after drying. You may decide that your photo is the art.  See the images below to get an idea of what you can create. 

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Let me guess: You made great art until you were 10, then you stopped once you started feeling “judged”, either by others or by yourself. If so, then it’s time to re-discover the inner child artist within you. This is an art class for “non-artists”. No skills required. No judgment. Just feel the joy of creation and experimentation.

Gallery of my art (very long: scroll to the bottom for flow art).

More about dendrite art and other patterns. As I bask in the beauty of nature, I like to think of nature as the master artist – using tools such as physics and chemistry, water and wind. My goal is to replicate patterns in nature: branching, cracking, whorling. I drip and pour liquids, exploring nature’s tools to create patterns on the canvas. The surrealists described automatism as a method in which the artist suppresses conscious control over the art-making process.  A quote from Man Ray: “It was thrilling to paint a picture, hardly touching the surface…”

My history: I don’t have much schooling in drawing/painting. Over the years, I’ve gone through phases of papier mache, stained glass, drip art, etc. When I hit on the latest techniques, I found them to be so easy that it was time to share. 

During the class, there may be a bonus burlesque show by our dog, Leon Trotsky.

Organizing your own flow art group

Fluid art recipes

Branching (dendrites): For how to create dendrites, see link.

I’ll mention here that I’ve been avoiding the fluid art technique that fills youtube: acrylic paint and a few drops of silicone oil or half paint, half floetrol. This causes bubbles (“cells”) to form. Beautiful, but you can find it elsewhere.

Using varnish: I like to cover the canvas with wet paint first. Next I spray or pour a puddle of water, then pour drops of varnish on the water. I use industrial varnish: the choices are all wood-colored — I take the lightest (cherry) and the darkest (nogal). The varnish will spread a thin coat, like gasoline over the water. Next, you may see the paint forms cotton swab designs into the varnish. As the canvas dries, the varnish gives it an amazing 3-dimensionality.

Varnish recipe 2: Pour paint first, pour water puddles on top, then drops of varnish. Then right away put single drops of blue dye inside the varnish. (and maybe a yellow drop inside the blue drop). The water hates being stuck inside the varnish. After a bit, it will escape/explode and take a thin border of varnish with it.

Varnish 3: After the varnish spreads thin over the water, it will quickly dry, with the puddle under it. If you pour paint on this veneer of varnish, it will bunch up and form these patterns. Another thing to try is to pour drops of rubbing alcohol on the varnish. That will break it up with rough edges.

Spatter: Pour your dendrite paint, then immediately dip a toothbrush into the ink and spatter it on. I spatter yellow then blue, in various amounts. I hold a cup below the toothbrush to avoid big drops.

Drip art: Jackson Pollock style. Industrial paint is fine. Here I bought black and red glossy or satinado paint and poured on paper. Pollock would pull a stick from a can. I pour from a cup. With practice, you can get a very fine consistent thread. Best if you let dry between layers.

Only ink and water: No paint at all here. I drew puddles with pipettes. On the left and bottom, I sprayed a little water on the canvas first. Like watercolor without the proper materials.

Painting agates: You can use either regular acrylic paint or paint mixed with water. Pour the different colors into a cup. Don’t mix (or just stab at the mixture a few times). Then pour on your dry canvas. This is similar to the classic fluid art technique, where you then hold the canvas up and lean it around, letting the paint spread.