FREE Paintings!READ MORE...

Who doesn't love the word FREE? Well, this month I'll be giving away paintings of all types on my Instagram feed. Just in time for Christmas! Have you been wanting an original painting but don't know if you have a budget for it?

You.
Are.
In. 
Luck. 

All you have to do is follow my feed @trishaknifepainter and you'll be in the know. The first free giveaway is up on Instagram now! Go check it out! 

Nike Roshe Shoe Painting

Impasto Master Joshua Miels

Joshua Miels, Fade to Silence, 2016

Joshua Miels, Fade to Silence, 2016

Several weeks ago when I was looking around the web for information about the history of impasto techniques, I ran across a brand new (at least to me) artist named Joshua Miels. His impasto portraits totally captivated me.

Miels works out of a small studio in Adelaide, Australia, and has been making waves in the art scene there and all around the world over the last few years. He originally started out working as a graphic designer, but decided that he wanted to go full-time with his art, which is a challenge I can relate to. He dabbled a bit in digital artworks but seems to have been swayed by the power and beauty of the impasto style, as you can see from his portraits that I've included in this post.

There's something incredibly powerful and emotive about the way that he captures people in his work, a kind of raw honesty that creates a very strong emotional response. Much of his work is focused on the emotive ability of the face, and the information that it shares with the world - or just how much information the face can hide. In his website's About section, he quotes the famous poet E. E. Cummings, “The greatest battle we face as human beings is the battle to protect our true selves from the self the world wants us to be.”

Joshua Miels, Omega, 2016

Joshua Miels, Omega, 2016

Somehow, he manages to see through the masks his subjects wear every day, straight into the reality of how they actually feel - their true selves, as Cummings would put it. Not only that, but he actually manages to capture those selves quite beautifully in paint! His use of color is inspired, and his blend of brush strokes manages to balance out strength and delicacy.

To see more of Josh's incredible work, be sure to visit his site to check out his current portraits at http://joshuamiels.com/projects. You can also purchase pieces directly from his website, to help support him and his incredible talent!

 

Why Impressionism Will Never Go Out of Style

Claude Monet, Woman with Parasol

Claude Monet, Woman with Parasol

Impressionism is an extremely unusual art form in one main respect: despite the fact that the style was first developed in the late 19th century, you can still find a vibrant and active community of artists working in the style today. I've been trying to think of another, but there doesn't seem to be any other genre that has stayed so firmly current throughout history.

What is it that makes Impressionism so special?

A lot of art movements start as a reaction to something that came before. At the time the Impressionist style was first starting to be used by artists, the traditional art of the day was more about deliberate realism in terms of forms and colors. Huge oil paintings depicting scenes in loving detail, all true to form (usually - there were always a few outliers, of course), with carefully balanced perspective, lighting, and size.

By Yours Truly! =)

By Yours Truly! =)

There was very little creative expression in these forms of painting, but they were exactly what the people wanted - and at the time, it was a lot harder for an artist to make it alone without a wealthy patron who supplied artists with materials and sometimes even room and board. All that was set to change.

Artists began to work without patrons, and their creativity became more and more unrestrained and they began to explore more creative and interpretive painting styles. They could paint their impressions of scenes, rather than faithfully reconstructing them. Artists finally began to feel free in their creative interpretations, and you can see how important this idea became over time.

So how does that stay relevant now? Surely the French Académie des Beaux-Arts isn't going to define good art as realistic now, is it? Creativity thrives and flourishes! You're absolutely right, of course - but what about one major technological advance: the camera.

It's now possible to capture a scene exactly as it appears to you, with no deviations whatsoever. In a world where that is possible, isn't creative interpretation even more valuable now than ever? Absolutely!!! I believe that this is the real reason that people will continue to love Impressionist styles - not to mention the fact that they're exquisitely beautiful.

To make sure you don't miss any of my Impressionist style pieces, make sure you follow my Instagram account instagram.com/trishaknifepainter and check back here for more updates!

 

Aggro Impressionsts: From Impasto to Palette Knives

Jean-Paul Riopelle, Untitled, 1948

Jean-Paul Riopelle, Untitled, 1948

So by now, it's no secret that my love of palette knife painting goes well beyond my own work. There's something about the way they apply paint to the canvas that just speaks to me more clearly than a brush does, no matter whose work is doing the talking. Following up on my recent post about impasto (say it with me again in your best bad Italian accent!) I want to share a bit more about how palette knife painting grew popular, and how it merged so perfectly with what the Impressionists were doing with impasto.

You'll probably remember from the earlier post that impasto has a long history, but it really started to become popular thanks to the Impressionists around the turn of the 20th century. They were laying the groundwork for modern art and all the weirdly excellent pieces that would grow up out of it. Even then, palette knife painting wasn't really new, since painters as far back as Rembrandt were already experimenting with the unique ways it let them apply paint to their canvases.

Jean-Paul Riopelle, Composition, 1955

Jean-Paul Riopelle, Composition, 1955

So when the post-Impressionists came along, all hell broke loose in the most expressively beautiful ways as you can see above! Usually, they're now referred to as expressionists, and they went all out in exploring new abstract styles. Partly this was because of their rebellious natures, and partly it was because new formulas for paint were being developed that gave rise to new possibilities that just weren't open to earlier artists. The colors were brighter, the paints were thicker, and they could be used immediately without a bunch of tedious messing around mixing.

The stage was set for the impasto knife painter ascendancy! A bunch of painters looking for new ways to break the rules all had palette knives they had been using for mixing, when they suddenly had access to paints that didn't need mixing - so what to do? Experiment, of course!

Painters like Jean-Paul Riopelle opened the eyes of a lot of young painters to the virtues of the palette knife, and the technique has been growing in popularity ever since. I'm going to be making a few posts in the near future about some of my favorite knife artists, so stay tuned to find your own inspiration!

A lot of my work is inspired by the Impressionist style with my own extra kick of impasto, but I always have a soft spot in my heart for the wild experimentation of the artists that followed in the Impressionists' footsteps. To see more of my palette knife paintings, check out my full portfolio here: theknifepainter.com or follow me on Instagram @trishaknifepainter for regular updates!

Painting in 3D - the Origins of Impasto

This week, I've decided to take you on a bit of a historical whirlwind tour that will help you appreciate just why I've come to love impasto so much! There'll be romance languages and action painting and expressionists, not a stuffy lesson. Promise =)

Second Sight - Josh Miels

Second Sight - Josh Miels

As I've probably mentioned before, painting didn't always feel right to me. My brushstrokes didn't feel right and I didn't particularly like it as a medium - at least, not until I discovered impasto and the joys of the palette knife. Shortly after I began experimenting with the technique, I began to wonder how it had developed. It turns out that it's got a rich artistic tradition behind it, filled with some of the world's most famous artists and some fascinating living artists too - see the detail above!

For those of you who don't speak Italian (unfortunately that probably covers most of us), impasto is an Italian word that means 'dough' or 'mixture', and when you see an impasto piece so thick and heavy you could use a knife to cut a slice, you'll get why the palette knife enters the scene. It's also fun to say in a bad Italian accent, just FYI.

The technique started with the old masters like Rembrandt and Vermeer, but they used oils and could only build up layers of paint slowly. It captured the light beautifully, but it wasn't until Van Gogh and the French Impressionists that impasto painting really began to get interesting. Van Gogh began using it to show drama and depth and movement in his paintings, as you might remember from the incredibly famous painting Starry Night. Impasto was responsible for the drama that took it from an interesting impressionist painting to a world-famous masterpiece.

Fast forward fifty years or so (I did say it was a whirlwind, remember!) and we start seeing works by artists like Jackson Pollock, the so-called 'action painter', one of the pioneers of the abstract expressionist movement. He used both oils and the new acrylic and enamel paints in his pieces, which opened up a whole new world of possibilities.

He didn't use a palette knife, but instead built up heavy layers of paint by literally flinging paint at the canvas in a number of different ways. It reached a point that some of the pieces became so sticky heavy that they're now causing problems for collectors and preservers, because the paint is starting to actually come away. Somehow, I don't think he would have minded - it's just another action.

Full Fathom Five - Jackson Pollock

Full Fathom Five - Jackson Pollock

Some casual observers think that he was just getting lucky, but he was incredibly skilled in his understanding of paint. The textures he developed with thick, undiluted paints were exactly what makes impasto such a powerful technique for expressing emotion and adding elements that you just can't get any other way.

In the even more modern era, impasto is a popular technique that's used with a wide variety of paints, but modern acrylics offer possibilities that Pollock and Van Gogh could only dream of. That's where the palette knife really shines, and the rest, as they say, is history!

Petals by Trisha Lamoreaux (me) ;)

Petals by Trisha Lamoreaux (me) ;)

For more impasto pieces made with a palette knife, you can follow my Instagram here instagram.com/trishaknifepainter/ or check out my complete gallery here theknifepainter.com/all/

The Haunting Portraits of KwangHo Shin

One of the hardest things about portraiture is capturing the essence of the person who is sitting for you. What is it that really makes a person unique? Is it their smile? The way they hold their head? For KwangHo Shin, it's almost always in the eyes.

You probably haven't heard of him yet since he's a relatively new artist on the scene, but his portraits are chaotic and breathtaking. They're like a bizarrely beautiful nightmare, one that's disconcerting and haunting but also one you aren't totally sure you want to wake up from. Fortunately for all of us, he's an extremely prolific artist and has already created a huge body of work to keep the dream alive.

Typically, all of his focus goes into the eyes of his subjects, and the rest of the canvases become a fantastical blend of abstraction and expressionism. Some people think that abstract artists go into that genre because they wouldn't be able to make it in a more "classical" field, but Shin clearly shows that isn't the case. Some of his works are so abstract that they barely classify as portraits at all, but some of them strike a balance that makes his more classical talents obvious.

Even when he abandons the eyes (and sometimes the entire face), there's something powerful about the way that he abstracts them. The human element still shines through, as you can see in the careful detail of the hands in the untitled portrait below. The abstracted area of the face plays up our natural instinct to find faces in disconnected shapes, made even more disconcerting by the fact that our brain knows that's where a face is supposed to be.

As I mentioned earlier, Shin is relatively new to the art world, since he just graduated from Keimyung University in South Korea in 2009 and then burst onto the art scene in 2013. He's now working out of a studio in Seoul and still developing his style, experimenting with various iterations of his idea of abstract portraiture, but he's already selling paintings left right and center. He usually works from subject photographs, but has mentioned repeatedly in interviews that he doesn't usually have a plan for the end product of his work, he just dives in headfirst and sees what happens.

To top it all off, in 2013 he was named to the Saatchi Art 'One to Watch' list. The list is curated by the online version of the Saatchi Gallery and helps individual buyers and collectors identify living artists who might become very big names in the future. As you probably know, supporting living artists is a passion of mine and here's a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor with a rapidly growing star!

 

Why I love Unique Art & You should Too

When most people hear the term 'fine art', they usually start thinking of oil paintings by the old European masters hanging in stuffy, inaccessible museums - but art is so much more than that. Art is a living, breathing expression of our individual passions, and you don't have to look very far to start discovering some truly unique work being created by artists who are pushing the traditional boundaries of what we call art.

I'm in love with the work of Rosemarie Fiore, who is best known for her paintings made using lit fireworks. Yeah, you read that right! While I'm not sure how she manages to avoid lighting her canvas on fire, the resulting abstracts are often unexpectedly beautiful - if a little understandably chaotic -  as you can see below:

"Firework Drawing #6"
2009

I can understand her drive to find a new way to create, of course. Exploring new methods of painting is what lead me to discovering the palette knife painting technique that's become my signature style. I was feeling frustrated with more traditional painting techniques, and almost by accident I stumbled onto impasto and my love of the palette knife was born!

 

Unique art isn't just about finding new ways of working with existing media, though - sometimes it's actually about changing what you think an artistic medium can even be. Belgian artist Wim Delvoye is known for some pretty "out there" conceptual installation pieces, but some of his most appealing works grew out of the fact that he sees opportunity whether other people see garbage. These intricate carvings are part of a project called 'Pneu', and the level of texture and detail is exquisite.

While in San Clemente last weekend, I came across an artist that I love. She finds sea glass and uses it to create little pieces of art. Check Signs of Shop out here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/signsof and here: https://www.instagram.com/signsofshop/

One of the great things about finding a practicing artist whose work you love is that not only can you get a piece of truly unique art, you're actually directly supporting them and enabling them to keep on creating. When you hear about a painting sold at auction for hundreds of thousands of dollars, the artist almost never sees a cent of that money (even if they're still alive!). Supporting a living artist is a win-win for everyone involved!

To see more work from a still-living artist (me! :) ) come and follow me on Instagram for all my portraits, landscapes and still life pieces: instagram.com/trishaknifepainter/ or check out my portfolio here: http://www.theknifepainter.com/all/

Who's your favorite unique artist? Comment below.

642 Tiny Things to Write About

I am not a writer. I struggle keeping a blog current because lets face it, I have NO IDEA what to write about. I think my life is pretty uneventful and the coolest part of my days are usually surrounded by my favorite people, doing something adventurous or piling up some paint on a blank canvas. Oh and golf. I have a love/hate relationship with golf. The never ending game of tweaking. Keep your head down. Follow through. Pace yourself. KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN. Yep. That's basically me. So at the end of the day when I go to "blog"...

I got nothin.

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Thanks to a random trip to Barnes and Noble the other night, I found this little beauty and it has opened my eyes to a new idea. What if I come up with a topic from this little booksy for my blog postings? 

Nailed it. 

No need to rack my brain to come up with a topic for the weekly post -- which, let's be real -- weekly is a stretch these days. A Big one.

So for today I begin my 642 Tiny Things to Write About. 

Topic: WRITE ABOUT A TIME YOU BROKE A BONE. 

I used to work as an Operating Room Technician so I've seen a lot of broken parts. Literally. I've held someones intestines, I've helped cut out cancer, I've also seen idiots come into the OR mangled from not wearing a seatbelt or a teenager with a broken neck from jumping on a trampoline. It was REAL. 

When you assist in surgery, it's your job to make sure you have all the instruments the surgeon needs to be succeful. You have to know how deep they will need to go into tissue so you know what kind of suture to have available. I learned a lot about being sterile and how vital it is to speak up if the sterility of case is broken, otherwise - the patient runs a high risk of developing an infection. 

Me bringing the sass to the OR. 

Me bringing the sass to the OR. 

When you pull all of the supplies and begin opening the packages, you do it in a very specific way so you don't come in contact with any of the supplies that will be used. Sometimes, you're in a big rush because the patient crashes -- think Gray's Anatomy. You know, when Kepner is freaking out because they are losing the patient and people are rushing all over the hospital in a calm yet frantic movement. Very much like the show, everyone in the operation room does an intricate waltz moving from one thing to another. The level of stress doesn't ever hit you while you're in it. It's always after. 

Anyway... Back to the topic, one day, I was coming in to relieve another OR Tech for their lunch break and I went to open the door where they keep all the sterile supplies. When I did, my face so was close to this massive door (I swear it was like 20 ton metal door) that I wacked my nose with door and broke my nose. I didn't notice it at first because I was so embarrassed. The doctor performing the surgery stopped and looked up at me and I just kept walking to pick up my gloves pretending nothing happened. When I got back into the OR, my mask was full of blood and I had to go get an x-ray. 

I guess it's not a bad place to break a bone. And the bonus was the swelling of my gigantic beaker was easily covered by our mandatory surgical masks.  

Light

Lighting is so important when it comes to art and especially portraits. I tell people who are commissioning a portrait to find a photograph that has one light source. It highlights features and characteristics with a special depth but... 

"Nothing can dim the light that shines within." - Maya Angelou

You Beginner Luck

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Remember in the original Karate Kid when Mr. Miyagi teaches the super-skinny heart throb, Danny Russo (I still don’t understand how he was the "it guy" but whatever) how to catch a fly with chopsticks?

“You beginner luck”

That is not how painting has ever been for me. I’m not some prodigy; I work my monkey butt off. I try and fail and try again. I study, sketch, and research. 

I believe if you put your mind to something, you can do it. It may come easier for some than others but we can all be creative. Just don't be afraid to put yourself out there.

Maybe you will have beginner luck.

 

 

Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087538/

Screw Costco

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I love a little bulk shopping as much as the next person but when it comes to art to put above your sofa -- forget Costco. I beg of you. 

Support friggin' real artists who want to develop their craft. Support artists who are brave enough to put their work out there. Supporting living artists is like buying at the local farmers market verses putting another buck in one of the Walmart sibling's pocket. Stop with the ikea prints people. There are so many talented artists creating reasonably priced pieces of art in the world. Plus plus plus -- it's SO accessible! 


 
 

Artfinder or Etsy or crazy girls who blog about knife painting -- insert shameless plug here. You don't have to visit a gallery to buy quality art. Google the crap out of it. Find something you love, something that speaks to you and take the plung. Become an art collector for the first time. Leave not just a painting behind but a story for your grandkids to discuss with thier grandkids. 

I know my fellow artist will appreciate the love. 

As another shameless plug, I'm offering custom, made-to-ordered, black and white pallette knife portraits on gallery wrapped 14x14x1.5 (ready to hang) canvas, for a $100. 

Chew on that one, Costco. 

Xoxo

Emotions & Art

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Sometimes when I get really close I can't see what I'm looking at BUT when I take a step back things become obvious. Emotions and art are the same. The heart can't see things clearly when emotions are close. And when I paint, it just looks like a giant mess of color blobs up close.

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Custom Portraits

$100 Black & White Portraits

$100 Black & White Portraits

I've avoided portraits/figure painting for years - probably because I'm so intimidated by it. People have their idea of what a person should look like and when I paint them, I paint them as I see them, not as someone else does; so it can be a tricky thing to do. 


But as an artist, I want to push myself. So... I decided to offer 14x14 portraits in black and white for the first 5 people to message me for a discounted price - to help me learn. I never could have imagined how many people would be interested. I honestly, couldn't keep up. Since offering the portraits at a discounted price I ended up increasing my prices but still couldn't keep up with the demand. It was cray-cray folks. I was painting my little butt off. 

UPDATE: As I continued to paint, I thought I would get faster the more paintings I completed but I was surprised to find out that the more I did, the longer they took because I began to learn new things and got pickier and pickier. Since offering the portraits online back in September, I painted over 80 portraits. I painted couples, singles, models, idols, and even dogs. It's been awesome and I continue to offer custom portraits for special and unique gift ideas or just because.  

If you're interested shoot me an email.  

5 Things You Can Create Today

Yesterday I bought a shirt that says, "create something that will live forever." I picked it up and as I read it, I knew I had to have it. I'm super passionate about making stuff. Anything. I have a garage full of power tools, a studio full of paint, computers full of creation software, Pinterest boards full of ideas, party's I want to throw, rooms I want to decorate, food I want to make - well you get the point. 

To help you out I thought I'd come up with 5 things you can create today. 

1. Idea board - I'm not going to lie to you, Pinterest can easily turn into the black hole of modern technology. You may start out by looking for ideas to decorate for a party and in, what seems like a minute or two, you realize you just obsessed about the latest fashions of Ryan Reynolds for days. Keep it in check people. Make a new board and get those creative juices flowing.

2. Thank you cards - What better way to make someones day than say thanks for being awesome. I have found that keeping a bunch of kick A, hand-made, unique, thank you cards on hand, has come in purdy handy. Make a few out of things you already have and USE THEM. If they are funny cards and make you laugh - all the better. 

3. Food. Um - do you really need convincing here? Confession Session: I hate to cook. Mostly because I hate cleaning up the kitchen before, during, and after. I mean really, what's that all about? Can't I just be like Rachel Ray and show up in my perfect kitchen, make the perfect meal (with EVOO of course) and just move on to the fun tasting party? I LOVE to taste so I'll bite the bullet and make something if it looks scrumptious enough to eat. 

4. Memories. This is silly but sometimes I think we all forget the point of why we are doing things. Family events turn into an annoyance easily, we get friends together and watch our phones the entire time; we are a curious culture. I have to be reminded that the point, most of the time is to live. Make memories. WE can't go back, we don't know what the future is so live in the NOW and enjoy the memories while they are happening. #offmysoapbox

5. Paint. Duh. Go get a cheap set of water colors, I hear a little company called Crayola even makes a cheap one ;) Paint something. Even if its just a little something - paint. If you really don't have the energy to go to the store, round up a pen or a pencil and draw. Learn to let go. Don't be scared or afraid of failure. Give yourself permission to suck - it's quite freeing. 

It is said of the most successful people they trust and understand how their creative mind works; they embrace uncertainty, and they don't fear failure. 

I'll let you soak that up until your fingers get all pruny. What do you like to create? 

<3 Trisha 

BRIDGE TRANSFORMED INTO GIANT LEGO BRICKS

A plain old overpass was designed to look like giant LEGO bricks by MEGX, a street artist whose graffiti is really quite beautiful. The 250-square-meter bridge in Germany went from bland concrete into one of the coolest things we’ve ever seen. Think it’s photoshopped? It’s not…

The Wuppertal, Germany bridge was a blank canvas before MEGX began painting it last year to give it the illusion of stacked, colorful LEGO building blocks. This wasn’t some overnight graffiti bomb — authorities and sponsors helped MEGX create the giant mural over the course of four weeks. Totally legit.

Read more here:http://design-milk.com/bridge-transformed-into-giant-lego-bricks-by-german-street-artist-megx/

My happy place

Endless possibilities  

Endless possibilities  

I received a giant box of canvas this week. When I open the box I started going crazy thinking of all the possibilities. I've been obsessed with some interior designers on Instagram lately like @acupofchic,  @onlydecolove and @immyandindi

The clean, simple, modern lines... I'm obsessed. I wonder if people really live like this? Maybe it's the mom in but my kids would destroy the white abyss of clean in two seconds flat. But that doesn't mean I can't paint minimalist peices.

Stay tuned. 

@acupofchic Insta feed

@acupofchic Insta feed

@onlydecolove Insta feed

@onlydecolove Insta feed

@immyandindi Insta feed

@immyandindi Insta feed

 

Palette Knife Painting Tips

Palette knife painting tips

Palette knife painting is all about big - gooey blobs of paint and texture you want to run your fingers over when it dries. Here's some basic tips to getting started. 

  1. Pick a photo that you love. Make a photo copy in black and white to clearly identify the lines in the image.
  2. Sketch the image in a light pencil. – This allows you to erase and get a feel for the painting. Take it line by line if you have to. 
  3. Once you’re ready to paint, decide the colors you’d like to use and set your palette up.
    1. Set up paper towels. 
    2. Get a big garbage can ready. 
    3.  Leave your paints out so you can remember what colors you used.
    4. Start with only a few colors so you don't overwhelm yourself. You can always add more later. 
  4. Additives or mediums aren't necessary but can be fun to play with. Sometimes I use acrylic based painters caulk to thicken up my oil paint and help it dry faster. Mixed Media Impasto paintings are fun! You want the paint to be the consistency of frosting. (yum. I love frosting.)  "Squirrel". 
  5. Select 5 standard knives. 
  6. Begin applying the paint but don’t over analyze too much. This is the fun of knife painting. It will feel like you're frosting a cake. 
  7. Step back several times during the process to see your painting from a distance.
    1. I've learned that taking a picture of your painting during the process also helps you see where things need to be added.
  8.  Paint another one
  9.  Repeat and repeat again

Things to consider- Don’t take yourself too seriously.- Try listening to music. It is amazing how different a painting can look depending on the kind of music you listen to.  Happy Painting.