12 Months/12 Experiments: April, Scraping & Pulling

The first week in January each year I write down tangible goals for my art business. Most of the items are based around marketing, exhibitions, residencies, grants, and internal business updates. However in order to expand myself creatively, this year I challenged myself to try different techniques, surfaces, mediums, sizes, and subjects in my works throughout the year, even if I didn't plan to sell any of them! In order to actually hold myself accountable for following through creatively, I assigned myself to attempt something new to me each month of 2021.


Originally I wanted to try 12 different painting techniques in 12 different paintings over the course of 12 months, but then I reconsidered as I didn't want to box myself into just painting techniques: I wanted to include experimenting with different surfaces, subjects, and compositions that I hadn't tried yet. Cue: 12 months/12 Experiments.


If you follow my instagram @kerstinglaessart you probably have already seen this painting as a work in progress on my stories.


April- Scraping & Pulling


The scraping and pulling technique displaces paint across a surface leaving behind a trail of residue that often shows the artists subtle movements across the surface as well as the texture of the surface reacting to the medium. Similar to my work on paper experimentation, instead of just one work I created multiple. Though I created around 15+ studies and works using this method, I will just share about four of the works below.

This work is 12"x12" on paper. I used a palette knife to spread the paint. After taping off a white border, I placed varying values of yellow along the top and left border in dollops. I then pulled the paint across to the right or down toward myself in alternating strokes. I did not smooth paint that escaped past the edges of the knife allowing them to build up and roll. This would be really interesting to play with again using a monochrome palette or using ROYGBIV to show color mixing.

This work is 6"x6" on wood. After gesso-ing the base, I applied two layers of blue interior acrylic house paint. I used a 3" Artists Work Knife for this scraping. I loaded the edge of the knife with monochrome shades of blue (leftover paint from Marked) and pulled it down the surface lightly. There were four points of interest for this swipe: 1) most of the texture came from how I loaded the knife paired with the texture of the surface grabbing hold, 2) the subtle adjustments I made on the pull, 3) the air-bubble-like texture that occurred from my light pull, and 4) excess paint squirting out from the edges. I decided I liked viewing this work best with the swipe going from right to left.

This work is 6"x6" on wood. After gesso-ing the base, I applied two layers of black interior acrylic house paint. I used a 1.25" and a 2" Artists Work Knife for this scraping. I wanted to play with abstraction of known organic forms so I attempted to create a rooster using warm colors and scraping. The added texture in the scrape strokes on the bird are from the sticker that I did not take off of the knife before loading it with paint. I started with a circle for the body (2"), and a circle for the head (1.25"). I then used the 1.25" knife for all the rooster details that helped identify the subject. For the background, I pulled away from the rooster to the edge of the wood. Again, I liked how the texture of the surface influenced the pulls. The black base added depth to the rooster's feathers and form, but also helped create a border to further define the rooster from the background.

This work is 12"x12" on wood. After gesso-ing the base, I applied two layers of blue interior acrylic house paint. I used a 2" Artists Work Knife for this scraping. I loaded the edge of the knife with monochrome shades of blue (leftover paint from a work in progress ) and pulled it down the surface hard in a curved pattern. The first swipe was near the far left. I then moved toward the right creating more an more swipes while taking care to not disturb that excess seepage. The further across I went the less paint I had, the more extreme the curves, and the more erratic my movements became. I could see a lot of the red toned ground by my last swipe. I decided I liked viewing this work best with the swipes going from right to left instead of top to bottom.

{BTS from my instagram stories during this process}


Note: At the time of publishing the works are not currently for sale. They are still drying. All works will be available starting June 1, 2021. Sign up for my seasonal newsletter to get a sneak peak of the work before they are available on the site. <3


xo, kg