The painting is a world where I enact all my dramas and emotions as filtered through memory and meditation. Each gesture, each layer of color I spread is specifically meaningful to me. Each subsequent stroke, I respond to what is already there and what it means, a chess game where one move instigates the next.


Deanna Sirlin, Levels, 2020, Acrylic on Panel,12 x 12"


Brushstrokes and the Physicality of Paint
Many artists use paint and gesture in their works, the paint and the application is the meaning in the work.  Jackson Pollack used his entire body to create the splatters in his paintings. Bram Bogart  made paintings where the brushstrokes actually become a kind of physical object. Joan Mitchell used a thickness and energy in each stroke in her paintings.

Think about a gesture that is natural for you when making a painting. Put your paper or canvas on the floor and allow your entire body to make the stroke as you move. Make some small works using the mark as the content. Change the color of the marks as you continue working.


Joan Mitchell. Sunflowers. 1990-1991. Collection of John Cheim.
© Estate of Joan Mitchell

Joan Snyder, Summer Orange ,1970, oil, acrylic, spray enamel on canvas,
42 x 96 in. Collection of Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA.


Bram Bogart,Promenade, 2007, Mixed Media,  53 1/10 X 42 ½"
Sirlin Studio