Student Report | Jonathan Hurry

We are big fans of Jonathan Hurry’s paintings. They are dynamic, vivid, lively and exciting. Before Jonathan did our TFAC Residency programme in London last november, we’ve asked him to do a short Student Report of his way of working with mediums. At the time he was still studying at Minerva Academy.

Jonathan: In my work I investigate the gestural inscription through its expressiveness and materiality. I have been exploring the possibilities in gestural mark-making of the Liquitex Soft Body acrylics, in combination with the Gloss Super Heavy Gel, Pouring Medium and String Gel mediums.

I’ve found Soft Body acrylics to have a very high pigmentation, which along with a soft consistency, has allowed me to apply very runny and thin layers of paint, with all the textural and optical possibilities implicit in that, without losing an intensity of colour. In combination with the above-mentioned mediums, this has opened up a very broad arena of painterly behaviour to me.

Pouring Medium

Detail of experimenting with Pouring Medium

Mixing Soft Body acrylics with Pouring Medium and a small amount of water has yielded some fascinating effects. When applied on either a vertical or horizontal, non-absorbent surface, the paint forms an intricate optical effect according to the texture of the surface to which I apply it, with a surprising amount of depth. These qualities are exaggerated if I apply the paint over a surface primed with Soft Body Titanium White, where the paint behaves almost like raindrops on a pane of glass.

Gloss Super Heavy Gel

‘No Title’ by Jonathan Hurry 2017, using Gloss Super Heavy Gel

Mixing the Soft Body paint with Gloss Super Heavy Gel, along with varying degrees of water, has allowed me to paint very vibrant gestural strokes, especially if the paint mixed with gel was transparent. The gel holds the forms of the gestures together on the painting surface, but adds an extra degree of transparency to the paint, so the form of the gesture and the indentations of the individual bristles of the brush are highlighted. This I think conveys much more information about the gestural shape than if I did it with pure paint straight from the tube, and makes the gesture a lot more visually expressive.

String Gel

Detail of ‘No Title’ by Jonathan Hurry. Made with String Gel

My way of using String Gel has been to thin it slightly with water and apply it conventionally by brush. Used in this way, the gel creates a very unusual drip effect which still maintains a lot of painterly texture. This is because the String Gel has a way of holding itself together, even as it starts to run down and drip. The result of this is that I’ve been able to make paintings with a lot of dripping, but which still have a kind of thickness and body to them, both in terms of the visual and the physical texture of the paint – the String Gel retains a lot of body even when dry, which I think is unusual for acrylic.

Jonathan Hurry


Jonathan Hurry at work

If you like to see more of Jonathans’ work, you can read the full interview we did about his TFAC Residency Here …

Or you can visit his website: Jonathan Hurry Website 

It is very interesting that Jonathan uses most mediums in a pretty different way than what they were actualy made for. Finding his own language and practice with them. If you are interested to see what these mediums normally are used for, you can find more about their specific properties on the Liquitex website: Liquitex Website 

With 36 different mediums, Liquitex offers the biggest range of Acrylic mediums worldwide.

Liquiex Pouring Medium, String Gel, Super Heavy Gloss Gel and Soft Body Paint

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