Poem from the Garden #1

TM9671 Poem from the Garden #1 30×36 oil on panel

This summer ‘s record-setting heat resulted in a hothouse studio. Under these conditions, the paint gets sticky and trying to brush it across a surface becomes impossible. A palette knife, in part because it can spread the paint faster, works better. So does a roller. Poem from the Garden #1 is my first larger painting executed almost entirely with palette knife and roller. With the new combination of tools, I realized the movement of the paint itself was more interesting, and the richer surface added a new depth. A breakthrough? I think so, even a whole new way of thinking about what I love best – maybe a new series titled Poems from the Garden? I almost feel like a kid again with a new toy. Details below. Enjoy.

TM9671 Poem from the Garden #1 – detail from center showing layering starting from dark to light values
TM9671 Poem from the Garden #1 – detail from lower right showing layered roller and palette application of paint
TM9671 Poem from the Garden #1 – detail from lower center

Technical painting notes: I used some Winsor Newton Liquin to thin the paint so that it would be somewhat runny on the knife and would spread quickly. I wanted a clear, clean, lush feeling to the stroke. When I started rolling over parts of the knife work, the roller did its magic of blending some areas and lifting and repeating marks – something so distinctive to roller work and so much fun. The tools encourage a looser, more impulsive way of thinking. I love it.

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