I’m one of those artists who has had a tough time settling on a particular art medium and style of execution. Call it a discovery process. I started with pencils, progressing to pastels until trying my hand at acrylics. I loved exploring with the paint but I just couldn’t seem to make the emotional connection like I wanted to, so I went back to pastels for a while.
A few months ago I volunteered to donate a painting to a chapter of the American Heart Association for a fundraiser. While it felt like the right thing to do at the time, I opened up a whole can of stress for myself. For one, I had never officially sold a piece of artwork before. I had given them away, but to donate a piece was to assume my pieces were actually sellable. I knew the picture would have to be something special which also added to my own emotional stress load. Plus the whole mental what if game …… “What if no one liked it?” “What if no one bid on it?” “What if I embarrassed myself?” But the biggest what if was, “What if my pride stopped me from just having fun and creating?”
I’ll fast forward the story. I painted eight canvases before I completed one I felt was worthy of donating. I was near tears and had thrown my brush down in a bit of a defeatist attitude, seriously questioning why I wasn’t or couldn’t be as an artist. I had that inner-dialog going on about why I was doing what I was doing. If I didn’t enjoy the process as much as the results then something was missing. So I let go. Of control. Of perfection. Or the lack thereof. I grabbed one more canvas, very quickly sketched out a flower pattern, squeezed some blobs of acrylic on the canvas and started finger-painting. The texture of the paint, the feel of the canvas, it began to come alive inside of me. And suddenly my joy was back in the process of creating. Vincent Van Gogh said, “If you hear a voice within you saying, ‘You are not a painter,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”
So taking those wise words of wisdom to heart, here are a few more pieces I’ve recently completed:
I tend to utilize Google for just about everything and I became curious about other finger-painting artists. These are a few brilliant artists who also use their fingers to paint gorgeous canvases.
Iris Scott has developed a unique, stylistic finger-painting process – wearing surgical gloves and placing the oil paint directly on her fingers. The result is a sophisticated and vibrant post-impressionistic style that echoes the masters of old….taken from http://irisscottprints.com/about-iris-scott.html
Naomi Silver says, “My paintings are created through the spontaneous application of paint with my fingers. This technique has enabled me to create a variety of textures and designs that cannot be achieved with a brush. The inspiration flows through my fingers, to the paint, onto the canvas.”…..taken from http://naomisilverart.com/artist.html
Mary Ann Brandt on finger-painting: “It is a remarkable paradox that this most ancient of art forms is relatively new and unexplored in the western world… I love painting with my fingers. Getting my hands into the colors is exciting and feels good. And I like what happens on the paper.”…taken from http://www.fingerpainter.com/index.htm
I feel like the proverbial broken record that plays the same spot over and over and over again, but I’m really learning that the joy in being creative is the ability to step out of the box that tries to constrain me. I’m choosing to enjoy the process and see just where it leads.
If you are interested in my artwork, I have it for sale here: http://rebecca-pickrel.fineartamerica.com