Thursday, December 13, 2012


($125.00......6" x 6"......Water Soluble Oils on Gessobord.....floated on a linen mat in a custom frame)

"Simplicity is pure poetry." It isn't always the "flashy" or complicated things that create the most impact. In a world of too much detail, it is often the simple things that create a calming effect.

The piece today is a simple hill country scene not too far away from where we live. The colors are not intense and there isn't anything truly spectacular about the scene, but it does have a calming effect because of the harmonious and "grayed down" color palette.

There is also simple and interesting divisions of space including the diagonal created by the hillside. The orange of a few trees plus the blue sky also creates a bit of a punch, but not too much. So these are things to remember when you are creating a restful or quieter piece.

Just place a lot of dabs of paint in the right places and you'll have it made. It's quite like saying, just hit the right number of keys at the right time on the piano and you will have played a beautiful piece of music.

Even things that look simple are always difficult before they are easy. What I am finding out after (55) of these small oil paintings is that the touch used in applying the paint is extremely important. All "wet into wet" techniques can be "tricky", but if you use the right palette knife, have the right color mixed, and you make ONE swipe of the knife on the piece before wiping it will eventually have a hillside or a tree, depending on what you're painting.

It is also important to vary the direction and the size of the stroke to create more interest and keep the piece from looking contrived. It is also instructive to see how other artists use the knife because everybody's mark making and gestural strokes are different. One artist by the name of Louisa McElwain, will give you a whole different approach on palette knife painting. Her paintings are quite lively, large, and she uses a lot of paint. Another one is Sandra Pratt who paints very simple scenes with the emphasis on what the palette knife creates in the way of texture.  Always keep looking at what others are doing, what you are doing, and keep practicing to achieve your own special "voice". And there you have it...just a few more things to think about. 

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

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