Creek Through the Woods, 2009
oil on canvas board, 14" x 11"
Inspired by a fearless student to paint using a palette knife, I tried my hand at it one evening. I have had a bias against using the knife, it conjured images of cheesy landscapes, and seemed far too chained to tricky techniques in my mind. But right then I felt I was at a point where trying anything new might just help me over a recent slump, so I gave it a go. Throughout this first attempt I felt lost, like I was painting with a shoe or something as inappropriate. As it went on I realized that I was dropping any thoughts of control as I knew it. I looked down to see four different knives in my hand, I was getting into it without even knowing it. Thoughts of detail escaped me and I concentrated more on the light than anything else. What was essential to the image? What did it really have to have in order to work? The method alone stripped away many of my normal painting thoughts and worries and pushed me to what I feel was a more pure way of painting.