Carrie Howder

Wider Waltham Artist

What was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event. – Harold Rosenberg

The question I get asked the most about my work is how do you know what to paint and when do you know you are done? I always laugh at that, because the answer is, I don’t. I usually have a color in my head and a very loose idea, then I start. Throw some paint on the canvas and see where we go! I paint with acrylics, finding them easier to clean and to blend with water. When painting on unprimed canvas, I begin by soaking the canvas lightly with water. The paint will steep through the wet canvas creating the staining effect I’m looking for. I love watching the colors play, mix and blend into their own creation guiding me to the end of our journey. When painting on stretch primed canvas one of my favorite techniques is to drizzle paint over the canvas, let it dry, then paint over it. The chaos driven by drizzle gives me my action fix. I want my pieces moving somewhere. As an intuitive painter I don’t know where the paint is taking me. I just follow. The expression, “blank canvas” is scary to me. Gives me anxiety. Whether your life is a blank canvas or you are staring at a blank canvas, it’s unnerving. I’ve realized as I have grown that a blank canvas shouldn’t be a scary intimidating force, it’s a chance to start over. Make something new, albeit art or your life.