Thursday, September 29, 2011

Summer's End (and thoughts on using thick paint)

Summer's End, L. Daniel, 6 x 8, SOLD

Here is another painting from last week's paint out where I my goal was to use thick and juicy paint. This is an area of focus for me right now - I am even making my students try it in our still life class. (Sorry guys, just sharing the joy.) :)
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Here is a question from one of my readers I thought might interest others...

"Why is it desirable to apply paint in thick brush strokes?"
I am just trying to better enjoy the buttery, goopy quality of the paint. The whole process is so much more delicious when the tactile factor is higher. Children get this intuitively. They don't need to be taught to smear it everywhere. 

Adults need to be retaught (or un-taught). I see it all the time in myself and in my students and friends. Due to some crazy grown-up fears, we are 1) miserly with paint both on the palette and on the canvas; and 2) tentative and overly careful with our mark-making to avoid mistakes. Our fears of depleting supplies and wastefulness make us scrimp and our fears of imperfection and failure restrict our ability to express.

Fear is not a good place to work from when we are trying to be creative. So, what better way to get past those fears than to face them full on, with more paint and bolder marks? Turn it into a game. Make it play. SET A GOAL. (Whatever it takes.) 

Of course, this is completely a matter of personal taste. Thick, chunky paint may not be everyone's cup of tea (it may even be UNdesirable to some people!) Whatever your preference, just remember to have fun.

15 comments:

Kathy Cousart said...

Gorgeous soft oranges in the foreground and love the juicy brushwork. I am having fun trying more texture and some juicy strokes at the final stages of a painting also and it is so fun! Agree with all that you said about it!

Aubrey Studebaker said...

LOVED this.

Tracey Mardon said...

Love the thick paint and the places in the clouds where you left the Y.O. Also the orange that draws my eye in. Lovely!

Page Railsback said...

I like your comments about daring to use thick paint. I always quote Hawthorn( ? )to my students.."Paint like a millionaire" Squeeze that paint out. This painting looks like a million

s thompson said...

Thank you! You expressed it so well about using thick paint. I have a tremendous problem with that. And when I use thick paint it is so much fun. But it doesn't come naturally, that is for sure. I am going to print out your thoughts and hang it on my easel.

Pam Holnback said...

Congratulations on your upcoming show. Saw you in Am Art Collector!

Haidee-Jo Summers said...

Me too Laurel! This is what I love about oil painting! I get so excited by thick and juicy paint! I even titled a recent painting 'thick and juicy'! You get double pleasure because when it's dry you can run your fingers all over it! I love this landscape of yours too, great work!

Andy said...

I love the way brush and canvas texture combine to add apparent detail without the need to fidget.

Marla said...

Oh, truer words were never written! I absolutely struggle with using enough paint.

Shelley Whiting said...

I love the dramatic and powerful skies. Your impasto brushstrokes are beautiful and impressive textures. Fascinating work.

Sharon L. Graves said...

I don't think I'm stingy with paint, but I too strggle with using thick paint. Thnks for the reminder and I might also print this out and put near my easel. Beautiful painting.

Barbara M. said...

Hi Laurel,

My father was a painter too, although he never went public. His heavy impasto paint embarrassed me when I was at art school. It was so not cool then. Now...I absolutely love the look of it, and am trying to get more textured myself in my work. I love this painting. Maybe the whole art world is shifting as it does between thick and thin. But I get the desire to go thick 100%, and love what you're doing with it. I now love my father's work so much. And I love yours whatever way you paint or draw.

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOBarbara

SYLVIANE said...

Wonderful painting!

Stephanie Berry said...

It does take effort to lay it on thick, doesn't it. I've been working at that and trying not to worry about the rest. You certainly do it well!

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

well said and ain't it the truth.