“Not Just” 24×24, oil on canvas Buy Now

When I do live paintings at weddings I hear a variation of this comment a lot: “Look, Suzanne! She’s painting that whole thing with a butter knife!” 

My favorite palette knife does look a lot like a butter knife, and when I paint with it I can’t be timid no matter how hard I try. It is, by it’s very nature, bold.  I’ve been thinking a lot about fear this month– and painting with a palette knife brings those fears right to the surface. It requires a ton of paint. What if, at the end, three whole tubes of expensive paint later, I’ve not got a painting I can live with? The small brush paintings are lower risk, less an investment. But ones like this accost you for being wasteful and self-indulgent should they fall short. But, my God, that feeling of being extravagant, glutinous even, with the paint. Piling it on as though I have an endless supply. Overindulging. Running saturated red against already formed textures and seeing where it lands. Makes me want to drive the car with the windows down and the AC on. It’s that indulgent. 

I’m not exactly sure how I feel about today’s painting. I’ll need to put some fresh eyes on it tomorrow. But the process of making it? I think it was worth the investment.