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Sunday, August 5, 2012

When Paintings Sing and Images Dance



I finished my bird house painting, and decided to add a couple bluebirds for interest. The painting has an old-fashioned look, but the colors are bright and modern. This 16x20 acrylic was done on a panel which makes it less expensive to buy. Prints may be purchased online at: http://carol-allen-anfinsen.artistwebsites.com  The original may be purchased by contacting me.

Before I begin a painting, I see a finished product in my mind. I know how I want it to look, what colors I want to use, and almost everything about it. So why does it change as I go along? In the grip of creating and expressing, unexpected things happen. Happy coincidences occur with the swipe of a brush or an addition of color.

A dash of pink or coral in one place ends up in the wood on the bird house or branches making an ordinary painting sing! Subtle changes in form or line create unusual negative shape. Playful brush strokes end up giving a painting more fluidity, more energy. Each element becomes part of a whole that creates cohesiveness, consistency and energy.

 I’ve written about the “evolution” of a painting before; but each time it happens, I’m still amazed with the process.


I shared with you how the images I see on my bathroom floor in the wet or dry imprints left after a shower inspire ideas. Seeing a “Whirling Dervish,” I did some preliminary research and made my first sketch.

When I transferred the drawing to a larger canvas (18x24), I was struck by how symmetrical it was. I looked at some reference photos I’d found online, and made a second drawing over the first with charcoal. That way, if I changed my mind, I could easily wipe off the charcoal and go back to the first penciled sketch.


I like the second drawing better than the first. Although there are no scimitars, the irregular negative space is much more interesting. Variation in size and position of the prayer dancers, contribute more energy and smoother eye flow. The next time you see this canvas it will be as a finished painting.

Featured Artist
Paul Hilario’s name, style and life match his upbeat name and his paintings.

“My style is eclectic,” Paul says. “I mix and match impressionism with pop, low brow, fauvism, and cubism. You can see that sometimes my backgrounds are impressionist, my light and composition is cubist but my characters are always pop and cartoonish in nature. Most galleries will label my work as naive art."


Paul was featured in 1st Angel Arts Magazine. To read about Paul and see more of his paintings go to: