Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Millefiore: Contemporary Floral Abstract

"Millefiore" Acrylic on canvas 18x 24
Today's Painting: 1000 Flowers
For this poured acrylic painting (which is basically a two part process) I used successive poured layers of Hansa Yellow, then Quin Magenta, and finally Thalo Blue (green shade). To keep the paint as fluid as possible (and easy to move around the canvas),  I mix diluted fluid acrylics into old plastic cups. I then tilt the canvas with each pour.  Note the Thalo will make a fairly dark line as you can see.

The acrylic pours stain the canvas leaving organic patterns of shape, color, and line. I then take some time to look at the canvas from a variety of angles before shapes start to emerge. Here, I kept seeing floral shapes and a vase so that's what I decided to work with. 

The final stage is to paint directly "alla prima" into and around the shapes suggested by the poured paint. Here I used the Golden Open Acrylics working with my "double primary" palette: 2 yellows, 2 reds, 2 blues and titanium white. As I  painted I kept thinking about the Italian glasswork Millefiore (e.g., 1000 flowers) and decided that I wanted to mimic that look within the flower shapes. At the end I felt the painting needed 3 key fixes:
  1. Another small dark shape for balance (I choose a small bird silhouette)
  2. Interesting texture. I'm not exactly sure what to call these but if you paint with acrylic you may see those skins that form around the top of your flip top tubes. Since this paint skins are flat donut shape, I thought they'd be perfect for the flower centers. And a great way to recycle dried paint!
  3. Some "quiet areas" of color fields since pours can get very busy. Note these color fields don't have to be pale color, just less detailed. 
Thanks for stopping by--as always have a colorful week!


  1. i love this...it is stunningly remarkable!

  2. Wow rebecca--That made my morning. Thanks very much for your positive feedback. Your work is amazing as well!