Beyond Pigment

posted in: Art 0

Several years ago, an artist visited my studio during the Open Studio weekend. Until her studio visit, she had only seen my loose palette knife work.

When she saw this painting she remarked “Wow! You’ve really improved!”


For a split second, I wasn’t sure how to respond. Should I tell her that “Private Label ” was an early work and the loose palette knife work was more recent? Should I just say thank you and leave it at that? I confess I couldn’t leave it alone.  I let her know that the palette knife work was more recent, and for the most part, that was the direction I was heading.

She didn’t say a word. Her jaw dropped and she headed towards the door.

I had a lot of mixed emotions about the incident. I was still insecure myself about my decision to move towards the looser work. At first, I too felt that it was “less than” my realistic work. Funny how I attract people that will support my insecurities. Fast forward to today and I now appreciate all that is birthed. Each painting is like a child . When I’m at my best, I nurture them and help support their strengths rather than my own agenda. Sometimes, my children are controlled, tidy and blended, other times they are running free.

Recently, when I was looking for a shower curtain for the guest bath, I chose one of my loose palette knife pieces, “Poppies and Lupine”.

When the curtain arrived, was blown away by what I saw in the piece.

The original is a tiny 4″ x 4″ plein-air piece, full of thick, rich, texture and color. When blown up to shower curtain size, I discovered each stroke truly  had a life of it’s own.

There are figures and creatures all over the painting!

A closer look at the painting reveals much more than pigment. There is life in the painting.

I’ve always thought my work had an otherworldly quality to it, and it was really cool to have it confirmed in the larger work. I’ve always sought to capture the spirit of the subject as well as a likeness. I was just surprised to find that I captured so many spirits! Makes me want to “blow up” more work and see what else I find beyond the pigment 🙂

My guests always emerge with new discoveries after a trip to our bathroom 🙂 I’d love to hear what you see. Drop me a line 🙂

The original work has sold but there are many cool prints, pillow and yes even shower curtains available.To explore, click the image below:

Art Prints