Tools and process.

Some one asked me about some of the fine lines in my paintings. These are cut lines. I have a favorite palette knife that I use for scooping, scraping and cutting. Yes actual cutting. It happens more so when working on canvas board as its a pretty soft substrate, but when working on gessobord (yes, that’s the correct spelling) or on wood panels, I still manage to get in there a bit.

So, what and why cut? Well, the mark-making process takes on many different intensities and tools. The work I’m doing right now involves mixing cold wax into oils paint to create a thick, matt paint. I apply it to the canvas with palette knives, bowl scrapers, rollers and brushes. Sometimes adding paint, sometimes scraping it off. I will then cut into one layer to reveal the layer below. Other times I take my knife, I turn it up on it’s edge and lean in a little extra hard to create a very thin line. These cut-in line may take on the color of the next glaze. They may just show through as simple lines. Sometimes I cut several close together to lift up and create a void in the painting.

The very thin and flexible nature of the blade prevents me from being exact and creates a very organic line. It’s also very satisfying to destroy a little as I go. Then when I get to the final steps, I put on clear wax, I let it dry then I buff it. I love watching the cut marks resurface.