Pouring Madness Exhibit: The Acrylic Art of Sharon Giles (and Linda Wood Shotwell)

Irving Art Association (IAA) is the sponsor of our exhibit at the West Irving Library May 27 – July 1, 2018.

Linda and I are “pouring buddies” and together we host “Acrylic Night” on the first Friday of each month at IAA’s gallery in Irving. This exhibit is results of our exploration of acrylic pouring (also called fluid painting.) Acrylic pouring is a fascinating process developed recently that creates unpredictable compositions. Pouring refers to paint application using fluid paints poured directly on the canvas or paper instead of using a brush or pen. The paints (usually acrylic) are diluted with a medium to a more fluid consistency and the poured paint is manipulated to create cells and other patterns. Brochure for the exhibit: IAA2018PouringMadnessExhibitBrochure

Linda is the former President and Exhibit Chair for IAA. She considers herself fortunate to have been raised in Iowa, to have worked in England, Ireland and The Netherlands, and to now live in Texas. She attributes her love of organic textures and bright color to her experiences in each of those locales. She concentrates her work in art on drawing, watercolor, acrylic pouring and acrylic printmaking. Her website: www.indalayart.com

Here’s some of her work:

Shotwell “Neon Jazz”

Shotwell “Hoot Eye”

Exhibit Location:

West Irving Library, 4444 W. Rochelle, Irving TX 75062 (near Esters & Rochelle.) Library hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; noon to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Here’s a couple of my pieces in the exhibit:

Giles “Golden Tide”

Giles “Primordial Storm”

Taking the 60th IAA Challenge!

IAA60thBRlogoI am a long-time member of Irving Art Association, which is now celebrating its 60th Anniversary with a special challenge category in the annual juried membership exhibit. The challenge entry has to relate in some way to the Irving Art Association or the 60th Anniversary. Entry deadline is May 3, 2105.


So I reviewed my old photos of IAA and selected three figures viewing paintings to incorporate into a monotype started on my Gelli Plate. I used the thinner acrylic paints from Golden (liquid and high flow) for transparency, thinned with medium. If you layer yellow, red and blue, you can almost achieve a black.

I created masks for then letters “IAA” and numbers “60” as well as the figures and rectangular painting shapes. I sequenced colors from the lightest (yellow) to the darkest (blue). Here are some illustrations of the process, which involved six layers of printing using acrylic, stencils and masks.

showing cut masks on gelli plate

showing cut masks on gelli plate

First layer of yellow - the medium picked up residual paint on the plate

First layer of yellow – the medium picked up residual paint on the plate

showing tape on the back of a mask, which were stuck to the watercolor paper

showing tape on the back of a mask, which were stuck to the watercolor paper

second layer of yellow on print

second layer of yellow on print

layer of orange (masks are still attached)

layer of orange (masks are still attached)

ultramarine layer added

magenta and blue layers added (on top of masks)

Magenta and Thalo blue layers added

magenta and blue layers added (masks removed)


This is as far as the monotype process goes. It looks like an unpromising mess, but I’ll do my best to pull interesting images out of that! The rest is alteration with colored pencil and brushed on acrylic. Sneaky negative painting techniques….

lines added to figures to start to separate them from background

lines added to figures to start to separate them from background


Transparent dark blue background layer added by painting directly to pop figures and logo. Blue and orange painted hair. Logo changed to orange.


Now comes the evaluative process…wow, I’ve got a lot going on. Somehow I decided that this would be an orange-blue complementary color combination. Unfortunately, in color field extension theory, the most pleasing combo of blue to orange is 3/4 blue, 1/4 orange (next would be the reverse). So I’ll have to make some changes — maybe I’ll paint the areas that I want to turn blue, white first, then recover them.

And where is my focal point?  Got to decide although I could contemplate going for the checkboard effect design structure first. It’s almost there.

I love these paintings where I don’t know exactly where I’m going – you can get some pleasant surprises when your paintings evolve. Or not. O well, it’s only a paint struggle, not like the major surgery I just went through.

About seven brief sessions of tweaking ...I scan and discover more is needed

About seven brief sessions of tweaking …I scan and discover more is needed

Finished? Maybe.

“The Critics (IAA 60th)” – Finished? Maybe.


This is the part where I try not to work the painting to death, but accomplish my aims. So I adjusted the orange to be a little less saturated and changed some areas to blue tones. Now there’s a lot more blue, and I’m liking it more. I’ve also added more yellow and magenta, so there’s almost a primary color effect going on. It is a little garish, but it’s happy.

I’ve stayed with the idea of the checkerboard design structure, even though the top and bottom are close to equal. And the main subject is close to the center – well, if I like it what does a design no-no matter? Tried also to improve the mini-compositions of the paintings. Contemplating simplifying even more. I have a few more days left before I have to submit the artwork for the exhibit, so things may change more.


Update: Yes, I had to meddle more with it, further define the checkerboard pattern, and repeat the chevron pattern in the mini-compositions. Plus there’s more happy blue and yellow. Stopping now, I’m telling myself. I need to work on my third entry. Not everything has to be a masterpiece, it’s really all about the process.


Finished version “The Critics (IAA 60th)”


“The Critics (IAA 60th)” didn’t win the Challenge prize, but it get 3rd place in Mixed Media at the Irving Art Association 2015 Members Juried Exhibition.

Also, I had the piece critiqued by Jane Jones, so I may follow some of her suggestions after the show is over and tone down more of the orange and intensity, going for still more blue dominance.