Every now and again I feel the need to take a hiatus from making art. A lot of times it stems from personal issues I am dealing with or a general lack of time. Of course these are merely excuses, because at the end of the day nothing should prevent you from doing what you love. What you are called to do.
During my time off I’ve learned some invaluable lessons in my art career, and I plan to use those lessons to strengthen my own voice and abilities. That said, I’ve decided to make some BOLD changes to my style. For several years all I cared about was making things as realistic and flawless as possible. I put in the time to make my oil paintings look like pictures. I felt I needed to do that at the time, but now I know that painting is about growth, discovery, and expression–not necessarily about making something look life-like. That is why man created a camera.
Here is an example of a prior painting in my super realistic style:
Here we can see the soft, subtle blending in the sky and sand to hide the brush stokes and give the illusion of a photograph. The sharp contrast from the addition of black also adds to this effect. So what exactly was my bold change? I decided to become a palette-knife painter. That way I can remain loose and not have to worry about detailing everything to death. This drastic change has really opened a new world of possibilities for me.
Here is my first painting using the palette-knife technique:
See the dramatic differences in this one? From the bold colors, textures, and sweeping knife strokes–this looks more like a painting. And it is certainly more impressionistic and expressive. It has more character to boot. Of course you can still see some detail, but more is left up to the viewer.
Painting with palette knifes took some getting used. The hardest part to get past was the strange similarity to buttering toast! And since you are painting “wet-on-wet,” you have a little less control than you would using brushes and waiting for layers to dry between applications. Another HUGE difference with using the knives is mixing your paint directly on the canvas instead of your palette. I couldn’t believe how much quicker it is!
I’m happy to be a palette knife painter! What changes have you made with your art lately?
Don’t forget to check out my etsy store and Fine Art America page:
So until next time,