Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Have Knife, Will Paint

When travelling, I take a variety of different setups for oil and pastel. In a particular day, I choose the one that makes the most sense for whatever medium and surface size I plan to use. While packing for the day, I end up moving lots of little things around - oils to this box, brushes to that one, tripod quick-release plate to this bag, and so on. I've been pretty lucky so far in ending up with the right tools when I get to the field.

Until today. I forgot the brushes. I stopped short of gathering yucca leaves and chewing them down to suitable brushes like the Indians did. Instead, I turned to the two painting knives I had in the easel. I don't paint with knives very often, but when I do, it's always an enjoyable experience. The color is always richer and cleaner. (You really have to work hard at making mud with a knife! It's almost impossible.)

I could lighten my load a bit if I painted with knives exclusively in the field. For me, knives means no turps, no medium, and no big handful of brushes. I do go through more paper towels, though, by wiping the knives clean between each color mixture.

"From the Dawa Trail"
11x14, oil with knife

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