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Artist Spotlight: Lynn Cotter

Updated: Jul 29, 2019

Lynn Cotter claims to be practicing “art for non-artists who have no talent.” It is a process called poured or fluid painting. Acrylic paints of various colors are mixed one-by-one with additives such as silicone, glue and water in separate small containers. Then each thinned acrylic “cocktail” is carefully poured, one color at a time, into a larger container. Next, the container full of layered paints is slowly poured onto a prepared surface, and the artist gently tilts the surface in different directions. As the paint spreads out, the layers of color create abstract patterns. One of the additives some use, Treadmill Belt Lubricant, makes tiny “cells” appear throughout the painting.

“You wiggle the piece, and the paint rolls and runs. You may like the result, or it may be hideous!” Lynn said. “You get a very abstract mixture of colors. Ideally they don’t blend to a muddy gray.”

This non-artist, who is a faithful ACWL volunteer, has taken several classes at the Nuveen.

“I sew and therefore am aware of color and texture. Exposure (through various classes) has given me an appreciation for what it takes--the thinking, chemistry and analytical processes--to be an artist.”

Lynn said poured painting helped her get through our long winter. “It’s given my head something to do.” Beyond entertaining herself and learning as she goes, Lynn has seen several of her poured paint tiles sold at the Nuveen Center. Her 8-by-8-inch ceramic tiles are heat resistant and can be used as trivets as well as decoratively.

Next up: trying the technique on wood panels Lynn plans to seal with resin so they may be displayed outdoors. As Lynn can attest, you just never know where a little experimentation, and stepping outside your comfort zone, will take you!


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