Friday, September 11, 2015

palette knife vs. brush

  Which is better? Palette Knife or Brush?

 This is the block in of my newest painting 
for my November solo show at Sumner and Dene Gallery.
I am in the zone right now - 
once I start working on the big ones, I can't seem to stop!
I'm hoping to finish this one tomorrow.

I've been seeing a lot of palette knife paintings floating around lately.
I mean A LOT.
It seems like a lot of artists want  to try out the 
new and trendy style that has actually been around for a long, long time.
I know this because I was one of those people.

I have books on knife painting from way back that are printed in black and white. No color pictures at all.
That's how old they are.

They sat on my shelf for a really long time.
I would take them out every once in a while 
(usually when I was cleaning the studio)and look at them,
thinking that one day I would actually use them.

Fast forward to 2015.
I was rather depressed, stagnant, and unmotivated, for lots of reasons.
I left my very nice gallery, and decided to change my style.
To using a palette knife.

I didn't really experiment, I just jumped in.
And I loved it!
The feedback was great, and I thought, okay,
I'm onto something.

So I painted lots of palette knife paintings:

 And then,something happened.
I didn't like it so much anymore.
And I couldn't figure out why.

I mean, I thought they were decent paintings and I sold a lot of them.

And then, I figured it out.

I missed the feeling of being involved with the paint.
Of mixing it on the canvas.
And I know I can do this with a knife.
But it's not the same for me.

I missed the softness of my big brush.
I missed the blending on canvas, the big swirls and
not wondering if I was holding the stinking knife the right way!

So, I left the knife and went back to my brush.
And things started happening that I loved:

Softness reappeared.
I began having an intimate experience with my paint again.
I fell back in love with my brush.

So now, I use the knife sometimes at the end of a painting,
just for tiny little highlights if needed.

I have found my self again.

So, i guess my motto is this:

Don't be afraid to try new things.
They may lead you back to first loves.

1 comment:

  1. I find that some judicious use of a palette knife towards the end of the painting can enhance areas, however, for full pallet knife paintings, or even mostly palette knife paintings, there is a 'sameness' to the piece. Just my thoughts. I prefer the brush, myself, and your brushwork is lovely, Dee. I remember Jerry Fresia telling us (in a workshop) that we needed a palette knife to mix our paint with, and for nothing else!