Artist Spotlight: April Carr / Joyful Pouring by April

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Artist Spotlight: April Carr / Joyful Pouring by April

April Carr 3

Artist Name: April Carr / Joyful Pouring by April
Hometown: Easton, MA
Website URL: Michaels Makers: Joyful Pouring by April
Facebook | Instagram

Can you tell us a bit about your background as an artist? How did you first get started with paint pouring?

 I grew up in an artist’s home. My mom has been painting since she could hold a paintbrush. At 12, she was teaching ceramics classes and later, she started her own painting business doing faux painting and murals in people’s homes and businesses. She is currently an art teacher at a small private school.  She instilled a love of art in me at a very young age and I have always been fascinated by different techniques, textures, and color combinations. 

I did not, however, get into doing my own art seriously until about 2 years ago.  I chose to pursue a career in nursing, which has been extremely fulfilling. Between my career and raising a family, I didn’t have much time to pursue a “hobby”.  Nursing was very hard through the pandemic and it was easy to fall in love with art as a therapeutic way to express my thoughts and feelings.

I tried brush and canvas work and although I was ok at it, I would get very frustrated that I couldn’t get it to turn out exactly the way I wanted. I fell in love with pour painting through watching YouTube and other pour artists and decided to give it a try. I started to pour painting about a year and a half ago as a therapeutic hobby turned passion. 

What draws you to the medium of paint pouring? What do you enjoy most about it?

 It was an immediate joy! Just watching the paint move on the canvas and finding the perfect color palate, knowing that no matter what, it didn’t have to be perfect, it just had to be filled with love and joy of creating something beautiful.

I enjoy trying different techniques and growing as a pour artist. Each disaster is a learning opportunity to make it better the next time and none of it is wasted time. 

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Describe your creative process when approaching a new paint pouring project. Do you plan your compositions in advance, or do you prefer to let the process guide you? 

My creative process changes depending on whether the piece I am working on is a commission or just for myself.  Commissioned pieces I usually plan out based on the client’s color preferences and personality type.  I have them look at my work and tell me which styles are their favorite and what their vision is and try to get as close as possible to their preferences.  When I am just painting for myself, I usually go with the flow.  I pick my colors and techniques based on my mood for the day or how much time I have. When I let my creativity do the work, I typically make my best pieces. 

Are there any specific techniques or methods that you frequently use in your paint pouring work? Could you walk us through one of your favorite techniques?

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I think I have tried most of the most common paint pour techniques.  Dutch, Bloom, Swipes, ring pours, landscapes, etc. 

My favorite technique is definitely the Dutch pour.  This is my fallback when nothing else is working or when I just want to relax and have fun.  I love watching the paint flow over the canvas and combine in interesting ways. 

What inspires your artistic style and choice of colors? Are there any particular themes or motifs that recur in your work?

This is a hard question in that I am not sure yet what my “thing” is.  I tend to lean more towards blue and purple color palettes as those are my favorite colors and you can really never go wrong with them.  I haven’t quite found a particular theme that reoccurs as I feel like I’m still discovering myself and where I want my art style to go. For now, I am enjoying the process and trying different things. 

Can you share a memorable experience or a significant breakthrough moment you’ve had in your paint pouring journey?

There have been a lot of memorable moments. The first Dutch pour that I tried, I was laughing through the whole thing because it was so much fun.

My first commissioned piece was for a patient that I had who asked me to do something in Lily Pulitzer colors.  It came out beautiful and I hated to part with it. Just seeing how much joy my art brings to others is enough to keep me wanting to continue to create. 

April Carr 1

How do you overcome creative blocks or challenges when working on a project?

Usually, I mull them over for a few days. Thinking about colors and patterns and where I really want it to go. Then I just sit down and start to play. The first few attempts may be wrong but each one teaches me how I want the next one to go and what I can do to improve. I feel like my projects never turn out exactly how I envision but are beautiful regardless. 

Do you have any favorite tools or materials that you always keep in your paint pouring arsenal? What are they, and why do you love them?

I always have American Floetrol. I use it to mix all my paints. My favorite tool is really my blow dryer :)

I haven’t gotten too much into using a lot of other pouring tools, but have tried pretty much everything at least once.  My newest acquisition is a catalyst tool that I’m dying to try. 

How do you know when a paint pouring piece is finished? What criteria do you use to evaluate your work?

April Carr

Another hard question! Sometimes I feel as though they are never finished, I have a hard time stepping back and looking at the details to decide if it needs more or less.

Honestly, in evaluating my work, my family is the most helpful. My husband will tell me to stop messing with it and leave it.  I tend to get carried away with fixing little things that really don’t need fixing. 

What advice would you give to aspiring paint pouring artists who are just starting out?

Don’t watch too many YouTube videos! They get overwhelming and make you feel anxious about trying.  Pick two or three pour artists that you love and watch them.  Keep trying, it rarely comes out perfect the first time.  Pick one technique and work on only that one until you feel comfortable with it and then move to the next one. Most of all, have fun! When you find yourself getting frustrated, step back, remember your why, and try again tomorrow. 

Are there any upcoming projects, exhibitions, or collaborations that you’re excited about and would like to share with our readers?

My shop is on the Michael’s MakerPlace platform and I was recently contacted by them to have an in-store shop.  This Saturday I will be displaying my work at our local Michaels for a spotlight on MakerPlace and creators. I will have the opportunity to network and promote my shop. 

Lastly, where can we find more of your work or connect with you online?

I have a shop on Michaels MakerPlace.  I am also on Facebook and Instagram at Joyful Pouring by April.  And you can email me at joyfulpouringbyapril@gmail.com

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Michaels Makers: Joyful Pouring by April | Facebook | Instagram

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