Saturday, October 23, 2010

"Early Autumn Wildflower Meadow" (oil on linen; 8" x 10") sold


Have you ever painted with a palette knife?  Sara Linda Poly, my teacher, challenges her students to try new things, and painting with a knife is one of those things she pulls out of her sleeve every now and then, just to torment us.  I gave it a try twice, hated it both times.  On a gorgeous day in September, she urged us again to put aside trusty brushes and wield a palette knife.  Ugh.

Perhaps it was the perfect weather with no humidity, no breeze, no clouds, no bugs, and no pestering persons around.  Something magical happened.  I found a spot down the wildflower meadow, looking up the manor house at River Farm in Alexandria, VA.  After a quick sketching with a brush directly on the canvas, I began to flourish a knife without fear.  When I got to the sky and the house, I briefly switched to brushes for control, but other than that, the above painting--"Early Autumn Wildflower Meadow" (8 x 10")--was created entirely with a knife.

In an earlier post, I mentioned my trouble, even fear of texture--trees, grass, sand, dirt, leaves, flowers, hair, etc.  How do you render these things with paint?  How do you suggest them without painting every single blade, leaf and floret?  I found an answer--use a palette knife!  I could lay down a large, flat area; I could also dab, skip, and scratch with it.  What freedom!  What joy!  Isn't painting supposed to be fun?  There you have it.

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