Tampa artist ditches paint brush for blow-dryer to create magically marbled pieces

A Tampa artist creates beautiful works of art using an unusual technique. Erin Coalson brings paintings to life using a blow-dryer instead of a paintbrush. 

"What drew me in was how the color didn't look like it was going to do anything until you started the technique with the blow-dryer," she described. "All of a sudden, the color just explodes out of the painting, and it becomes this magical piece that you didn't think would ever come out of it."

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Coalson’s company, Erin Coalson Artistry, specializes in fluid art, which she describes as mixing paint in a way that makes colors flow together, but not mix. 

She says it's a technique you "need to see for yourself" to appreciate. 

Coalson starts with a blank canvas. She coats the entire canvas with a white base paint. Then she pours different colors of paint on seemingly random parts of the canvas.

"You don't want to necessarily fill up the whole canvas. You want to use some white space or negative space so that your eye can be drawn right to where the paint lands," she said. 

As the paint settles, it creates a somewhat marbled effect. 

Then it's time for the blow-dryer. 

Using the forced air, the paint pushes around the canvas, mixing and swirling, creating a magical kaleidoscope of colors and patterns.

"I kind of work in synchronicity with the paint to just see where the paint wants to go, where I want it to go and how far I can take it," Coalson said. 

It can 2-3 weeks for a piece to completely dry, but the pouring, blow-drying and creating part takes around 15-20 minutes.

"It's instant gratification. That's why I think this is such a great art form, for therapy," she said. "You can see something that doesn't look like anything at all and, all of a sudden, it blossoms. It's like watching a flower bloom immediately."

Coalson has been creating fluid art pieces for nearly three years. Because of the vibrant colors, she says much of her art ends up accenting rooms in customers’ homes. 

As she works on new pieces, she’s always thinking about the next one, from new colors, new mixes and new designs. 

To see more of her work, visit https://www.instagram.com/erincoalsonartistry/ or https://www.erincoalsonartistry.com/.

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