Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Right Tool

Once upon a time I met an artist in one of my classes who was painting little landscape-ish paintings. She said she hated what she was doing... using the tiniest brushes to describe every detail from her source image. So, I asked her "who do you like?" She said "Turner." I said "give me your brush." And then I handed her a palette knife and said "from now on, you only use a palette knife."

I had no idea how one simple adjustment could make such a dramatic change in ones art. I am always telling students to "get a bigger brush" but this was different. Gay Summerrick is a Fine Artist who took the challenge and changed the way she paints and even adjusted her approach to painting. Because with palette knife paintings, its not the overall colors that are important -like the color of the sky or the water or the trees. Its what's underneath that counts!

It's the bit of red or that spec of golden color that appears in between and in places that you can't plan for it to be. It is as if light has filtered through and is pulling everything together. Its the vibration of the colors underneath their primary colors that make the painting pop and for you to say "oh yea, this is good... really good."

When you see Gay's paintings up close, you will see what I mean. Gay has won awards from the Malibu Art Association, and excepted into juried shows with The California Art Club. She also shows at Los Angeles County Museum of Art Sales and Rental Gallery.

Needless to say, I am very proud of her.
Below are some of her landscapes: click on images for detail