Spinning Canvas: Color & Gravity Create Brush-Free Paintings

Calculation meets chaos in the work of Amy Shackleton, a painter who works without brushes to create masterful yet whimsical urban and natural landscapes.

animated rotating canvass painting

Her dynamic paintings are the result of an active process of dripping and pooling paints poured out on a canvas that is rotated in place while the artist pours on colors.


Some of the works are inspired by views of real-life places like the High Line in New York City, while others seem taken from impossible perspectives, like the bottom of a puddle along an urban street.




Angles, curves and swirls play into the colorful resulting representations, often featuring elements of liquidity and other twisting organic forms. Some of the pieces are quite large, spanning a single panel or multiple canvases and requiring a good deal of space for the colors to channel and spread.

dynamic high line inspired


dynamic urban art painting

Elements of intention mingle with unpredictable effects: “Thorough planning, measuring and layering is involved, but she’s at the mercy of gravity, [leading to] refreshing unpredictability that helps illustrate the organic elements in her work. To combat the natural, she uses a rotating easel and a level–creating straight lines, controlled curves, and eventually, concrete buildings.”

dynamic drip painted landscape

dynamic drip painting art

From her press release: Vibrancy, precision and a mesmerizing technique set her apart, but the combining of such varied landscapes as Cincinnati and Yosemite National Park into one fanciful image make her work truly unique. “I envision post-industrial worlds where healthy, sustainable relationships exist between man and the environment,” says the artist. “My paintings are intended to portray urban life at its best, demonstrating ways that we can work with nature rather than against it.”