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This one took a few tries to get right, starting out as a power tools art project that failed, leading to the inspiration behind “Grass,” and finally learning from what worked with “Grass” to come to this result.

My original idea was to put some paint onto a page and then use a hand-held orbital sander to spin and shake it, seeing how it made the paint move.  It turns out, my sander neither spins nor shakes with enough force to have any noticeable impact on the page. And then, in taking apart the rig, I dropped the piece face down in the grass.

My first attempt at the piece that became “Maelstrom” – June 20, 2021.

Then I moved on to “Grass” and I loved how organic the result was and thought that could apply to this idea as well. So I dropped some of my favorite blues onto a page, added some white and silver, and then just a dot of red. But that last addition ruined it, for me.

My second attempt at the piece that became “Maelstrom” – June 22, 2021.

The red came from an older tube of paint. It was more congealed and didn’t spread naturally at all. To me, it throws off the organic look I was going for.

So I gave it one more shot. I’d burned through some of my blues so I switched up the colors a little bit, making certain to use a different red.

“Maelstrom” – created June 22, 2021. Acrylic on paper.

I don’t love the blues as much as I did in the second sketch, but I used some metallics so it really depends on how the light is catching it. I do like how that little bit of red turned out, though.

I also did a variant on black paper and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet.

A variant of “Maelstrom” done on black paper – June 22, 2021.

I really like pairing pieces, one on white and one on black, because I like to see how the same colors pop differently off of light and dark backgrounds. In this case, I think it comes across as much more minimalist, which I’m not sure I was going for. That said, the metallics look great on the black page and there’s a swoosh of silver and white that I absolutely love.

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