Elaine Pizza Talks About the New Paints

Art materials change, as the world changes. In the 1950s the new “plastic paints” (acrylics) were invented, and “iridescent paints” are the newest of these plastic paints and demand a new way of working. For me they demanded a rethinking of the whole painting process! The challenge of using new iridescent paints, continues to change the way I work.

Painting_Myth No. 12Iridescent paint is made of pigments of tiny platelets that are like little mirrors coated with different thicknesses of titanium dioxide or iron oxide. The different thickness of coatings create a reflective surface that appears to change color as the angle of viewing changes. From one angle of viewing, it can appear mostly as a pearlescent color, but viewed at other angles, the remarkable amount of color in the many layers of the underpainting under the surface, come through and enlivens the composition. This kinetic nature of the paint causes the composition to “dance”! Certain paintings like to keep their secrets hidden. Other paintings want the layers to be more visible. The iridescent paint appears gossamer soft, pliable, in some places and anchors the forms in other places.

The kinetic nature of the paint in these works helps to evoke the “unexplainable” in my work as myths through the centuries have been used to explain the unexplainable.

Elaine Pizza


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