A lot of people recently when I tell them about my next in-person workshop have been asking me “What exactly is stain painting?” So I thought I would show you rather than tell you. In the late 50s and early 60s there was a move towards creating abstract canvases in which color became the primary subject matter and the paint itself practically merged with the surface. These painters created fields of color on large canvases which might envelop the viewer with their scale. were some of the known “Color Field” painters among many others. Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Louis invented a particular type of Color Field painting called Stain Painting in which the liquid paint seeps into the fibers of an unprimed canvas.
Here is a video from a talk I did at Portland State University in Oregon showing some simple preliminary steps to getting started with this gorgeous technique.
You can see from these photos, I like to encourage people to work large and get their whole body into it! We’ll be doing some yoga stretches to warm up – but don’t worry if your body won’t allow sitting on the floor, I have a big studio and plenty of table space, too.
These were taken in 2009 and 2011 in North Carolina. May 5 will be the first time I have ever taught this workshop on the West Coast.
It’s a beautiful technique and so much fun to try! Come join us for an all-day workshop in my studio in Emeryville, CA Saturday, May 5. Click here to register.