Artist Paul Jenkins filled his abstract canvases with roll the dice, sizzling color. “I utilise past experience and my knowledge of the odds. It is a big gamble, and that is why I love it,” Jenkins said about his approach. I can relate. Art is a risk. Its always a gamble.
Paul Jenkins was born 1923 in Missouri, USA. He traveled abroad, studied with several well known artists of the day including Yasuo Kuniyoshi for four years. Jenkins died in 2012 in New York City.
Jenkins often called himself, an Abstract Phenomenist. His works are bold expressions of color balanced by the softly merging edges.
When asked about the titles for his paintings, Jenkins responded, “I have conversations with them and they tell me what they want to be called.”
He was very much in tune with his work, in a dialogue. Allowing the paints and support to do their thing, while he ‘guided’ the process, rather than forcing it.
Abstract Painting Technique
The painting technique Jenkins used involved liquid, fluid paints being poured into targeted areas onto a canvas and allowing the colors to softly diffuse and merge together.
Jenkins painted large, thought nothing of using trash bins to pour paint onto canvases and papers.
He didn’t use a brush, but often used a special ivory knife to guide paints along in certain directions.
Jenkins abstract color palette often included Indigo, Cerulean, Scarlet red, Lemon yellow, Viridian Emerald greens, Ultramarine blue.
Paul Jenkins was quite versatile as an artist. He worked in oils, acrylics, watercolors, inks, sculpture and lithography. Apparently he enjoyed risk taking, and being an ‘out of the box’ non traditional artist!
Things I learned from Paul Jenkins
- Go for broke! For The LOVE of Color – Paint bolder, more color, more abstract
- Try using a larger pouring vessel i.e. trash bins, buckets
- Limit the palette in order to avoid MUD
- Experiment with fluid oils on a pure white canvas background
- Line up 5 BIG canvases outside, and start pouring