Friday, April 29, 2016

Evolution of My Style: No More Fingers

I love the look of oil paint. While I can scarcely discern my acrylic paintings (thanks to a thick application and varnish) from my oil paintings, oils have a beauty and depth unrivaled by any other media, especially when painted on a panel.

I have returned to painting in oils and using painting knives. I am able to layer color and achieve an even greater impression, identical to authentic French Impressionism, but in my style.

I had practiced with the knife about 10 years ago when learning full-color seeing espoused by artists from the Cape Cod School of Art. My problem with the knife was fear, fear my work would look like everyone else's work who uses a knife(ves). Honestly, the student works are very similar. But they are beginning works. One's style evolves.

And give up finger painting? That's what I am known for. It's a wow factor because not many of us are doing it. Alas, I am good at it. But finger painting is too messy. It might even be a hindrance to where I want to go. Ok, it is a hindrance. My ego has relented. I am over it.

A well-known artist saw my work in person the other day. She said to me, "Finally, someone who knows color and value, and you can do anything you want." That struck a deep chord. She's right and she changed my life with that statement. I can do anything I want. I will do what I want. I need to do what I want.

The ability to work from my imagination is my greatest gift. I've always had the imagination but it has taken decades to understand nature and acquire the technical skill. Of course I will continue to make forays outdoors with my tripod and Guerilla pochade box. There is no substitute for en plein air painting. The alligators here can be a nuisance however. They cut short my painting adventure the other day. But the memories are with me still, the same as a leaf turned citrine from the sun.

From now on, I will use the painting knife with thick luscious oil paint. It comes natural to natural as finger painting.

Farmer's Market
16 x 20, Oil on linen panel
Knife technique

Detail of Farmer' Market

Detail of Farmer's Market
(Note the sky resembles some of Monet's)


  1. Replies
    1. Isn't it though? It was a little painful giving up the finger painting. The ego can be a monster. Lol.

      Thank you, dear friend, for commenting.

  2. You needn't "give up" a technique or media. Good to evolve, try new things. And "go back" if you want to because you can! Cheers!

    1. So true, Valerie. The fingers have a mind of their own and may dance along the canvas here and there at anytime.

      Thank you so much for commenting. Cheers!